Deaf students and their classroom communication: an evaluation of higher order categorical interactions among school and background characteristics

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Psychiatry, Systems and Psychosocial Advances Research Center

Publication Date


Document Type



Adolescent; Age Factors; Chi-Square Distribution; Child; Cochlear Implants; Cognition; *Communication; *Culture; Deafness; Decision Trees; Humans; Likelihood Functions; Parents; Persons With Hearing Impairments; *Schools; Sign Language; Socialization; Speech; Teaching


Communication Sciences and Disorders | Education | Health Services Research | Mental and Social Health | Psychiatric and Mental Health | Psychiatry | Psychiatry and Psychology


This article investigated to what extent age, use of a cochlear implant, parental hearing status, and use of sign in the home determine language of instruction for profoundly deaf children. Categorical data from 8,325 profoundly deaf students from the 2008 Annual Survey of Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Children and Youth were analyzed using chi-square automated interaction detector, a stepwise analytic procedure that allows the assessment of higher order interactions among categorical variables. Results indicated that all characteristics were significantly related to classroom communication modality. Although younger and older students demonstrated a different distribution of communication modality, for both younger and older students, cochlear implantation had the greatest effect on differentiating students into communication modalities, yielding greater gains in the speech-only category for implanted students. For all subgroups defined by age and implantation status, the use of sign at home further segregated the sample into communication modality subgroups, reducing the likelihood of speech only and increasing the placement of students into signing classroom settings. Implications for future research in the field of deaf education are discussed.

DOI of Published Version



J Deaf Stud Deaf Educ. 2010 Fall;15(4):334-47. doi: 10.1093/deafed/enq034. Epub 2010 Jul 11. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Journal of deaf studies and deaf education


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

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed