Approximately 90% of deaf children are born to hearing parents (National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, 2016). Unfortunately, many of these parents do not give their children access to an accessible language, therefore isolating their children and setting them up for difficulty later in life. Additionally, these children may suffer from language deprivation which can have long lasting social and cognitive defects (Hall, Levin, and Anderson, 2017). Language deprivation is when children do not have full access to a natural language during the critical period of language acquisition, which is approximately between the ages of 0-5 (Hall, Levin, and Anderson, 2017). For many deaf children, their natural language is American Sign Language (ASL) as it is more visual and accessible. This study aims to investigate a link between mode of communication used while growing up and mental health later in life. For the purpose of this study, deaf is used to describe the medical condition of hearing loss, while Deaf is used to describe the Deaf community, its culture, and those who identify with it.

Semester/Year of Award

Spring 2020


Linda Bozeman

Mentor Department Affiliation

American Sign Language and Interpreter Education

Access Options

Restricted Access Thesis

Document Type

Bachelor Thesis

Degree Name

Honors Scholars

Degree Level




IRB Approval Number (if applicable)