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Am Ann Deaf. 2010 Spring;155(1):19-30.

The nature of victimization among youths with hearing loss in substance abuse treatment.

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  • 1Chestnut Health Systems, Bloomington, IL, USA.


The author profiles the prevalence, severity, and characteristics of victimization among a group of youths with hearing loss presenting to substance abuse treatment. Intake data on 111 deaf and hard of hearing youths (42% female) were analyzed and compared with data from a weighted, gender-matched sample of hearing youths. After gender is controlled, results indicate that the hearing loss group reported more widespread, more severe abuse than that reported by their hearing peers. Physical abuse and weapon attacks were significantly more prevalent among the deaf and hard of hearing youths, while no differences in sexual or emotional abuse were observed. Youths with hearing loss also reported increased rates of abuse by a trusted person and abuse that made them fear for their lives. Substance abuse treatment of deaf and hard of hearing youths should include routine assessment of victimization and trauma-informed methods.

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