Psychological Perspectives on Deafness - Vol. 2

Psychological Perspectives on Deafness - Vol. 2

Psychological Perspectives on Deafness - Vol. 2

Psychological Perspectives on Deafness - Vol. 2


This edited volume picks up where Psychological Perspectives on Deafness, Volume 1 ended. Composed of review chapters that reflect cutting-edge views from well-known international researchers within the field, this book surveys issues within the field of deafness, such as cognition, learning disabilities, social development, language development, and psychopathology. It also highlights the many new and exciting findings currently emerging from researchers across a variety of disciplines--psychology, education, linguistics, and child development. The chapters will engage, challenge, and lead the field on to productive empirical and theoretical work relating to the broad range of questions which concern the psychological perspectives on deafness.


Five years ago, we edited a volume entitled Psychological Perspectives on Deafness. It was intended to be a one-time affair, but, obviously, that is not the way it turned out.

The present book, with Volume 2 appended to its title, is in some sense a continuation of discussions begun in that 1993 book. With new topics and many new authors, however, it is more than that. in only 5 years, there has been considerable change in the field of deafness research. For example, it is hard enough to define this field without adding the problem of how to refer to it without using a term that some people now find discomfiting (deafness). So, we will not even try Instead we focus on the substance of a field that is changing rapidly even while its progress sometimes seems painfully slow.

Most deaf children face significant educational and social challenges growing up, and, to put it bluntly, we have not done enough to eliminate those barriers. Even if research in the field is making great strides, and we believe it is, many deaf persons and service providers still feel frustrations in the "here and now." Part of that frustration concerns the fact that despite decades of investing time and resources in a better understanding of communication, social, and psychological issues associated with hearing loss, access to services and many of our educational methods remain woefully inadequate. Certainly, there has been considerable progress in these domains; it just is not coming as fast as we might like, and sometimes it does not seem to come in the right places.

Beyond the pace of change, part of the frustration stems from the fact that deaf people are rarely in the driver's seat of the research that involves them. This observation is not intended as a political statement, just a statement of fact. There are relatively few deaf researchers in the field -- although the number is increasing -- and there is a variety of differing perspectives on what research questions are most pressing. in our view, the field is in need of a collaborative model for inquiry that includes deaf . . .

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