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J Deaf Stud Deaf Educ. 2008 Spring;13(2):278-300. Epub 2007 Oct 29.

Self-esteem and satisfaction with life of deaf and hard-of-hearing people--a resource-oriented approach to identity work.

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University of Education Heidelberg, Zeppelinstrasse 3, Heidelberg, Germany.


In the context of the current identity discussions, the interrelations between acculturations, psychological resources, and self-esteem as well as the satisfaction with life of deaf and hard-of-hearing people (N = 629) were examined by means of a questionnaire-based survey. To check these interrelations, one-factor and two-factor analyses of variance were employed. The results show that bicultural, deaf, and hearing acculturation styles have the advantage over marginal acculturation, but the results for marginal acculturation need to be discussed in depth to ensure a comprehensive understanding of them. All in all, bicultural acculturation seems to be a secure option for psychosocial well-being. The availability of psychological resources (optimism, self-efficacy) seems to be of special importance for the quality of self-esteem and satisfaction with life. On the other hand, the power of these psychological resources is closely associated with good communicative conditions in the individual biographies of the participants in this study as well as with their education level. Going beyond a methodological discussion then, the mission for educators would seem to be one of making good communicative conditions available to each deaf or hard-of-hearing child and optimizing academic achievement so as to ensure a secure, comprehensive, and differentiated opening up of the world and psychological empowerment. In this way, a good foundation can be laid for developing quality of life.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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