UMMS Affiliation

Department of Psychiatry, Systems and Psychosocial Advances Research Center

Date

2-1-2011

Document Type

Article

Disciplines

Health Services Research | Mental and Social Health | Psychiatric and Mental Health | Psychiatry | Psychiatry and Psychology | Psychology | Reading and Language

Abstract

The current study investigated the bilingual abilities of 55 Deaf individuals, examining both American Sign Language (ASL) competency and English reading skills. Results revealed a positive relationship between ASL competency and English skills, with highly competent signers scoring higher on a measure of reading comprehension. Additionally, family characteristics (e.g., parental education level, family hearing status) were entered into the analysis to ascertain their effect on Deaf individuals’ bilingual abilities. The findings support the theory that competency in ASL may serve as a bridge to the acquisition of English print. Moreover, the findings provide support for the critical period hypothesis for first language acquisition and its later impact on other cognitive and academic skills.

Comments

Citation: Freel, B. , Clark, M. , Anderson, M. , Gilbert, G. , Musyoka, M. & Hauser, P. (2011). Deaf Individuals’ Bilingual Abilities: American Sign Language Proficiency, Reading Skills, and Family Characteristics. Psychology, 2, 18-23. doi: 10.4236/psych.2011.21003.

At the time of publication, Melissa Anderson was not yet affiliated with the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

Keywords

Deaf, American Sign Language, Reading, Bilingual, Family

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

 
 

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