The identification of early factors related to academic achievement among deaf students

Lisa Namey Cunningham, Florida International University


The purpose of this research study was to examine specific factors believed to be related to academic achievement in deaf children. More specifically, this research sought to determine whether there was a significant difference in achievement between those students whose parents use oral communication only and those whose parents use some type of sign language. An additional purpose of this research was to determine if there was a significant difference in academic achievement with those deaf students who used amplification devices early in life. This study also sought to determine whether providing early intervention program which emphasizes and enables parents to develop a language rich environment had a significant impact on the academic achievement of deaf children and whether the age at which initial services are received influence deaf student's subsequent academic achievement. This study examined the relationship, if any, between intellectual ability and academic achievement among deaf children. Finally, this study sought to investigate the relationship between the degree of hearing loss and academic achievement. Purposive sampling was used to select subjects for this study. All 228 eligible Deaf/Hard of Hearing (DHH) students enrolled in a Broward County Public School were included in the original sample. Sixty-one students actually participated in this study. A correlational method of statistical analysis as well as a cross classification (crosstabs) was used to analyze the data. The results show that academic achievement in the areas of reading and mathematics was significantly related to parental mode of communication and the mode of communication used in school. Academic achievement, in the area of reading, was also signficantly related to intellectual ability. The reading achievement was also found to be significantly related to degree of hearing loss. Written language was not significantly related to any factors investigated in this study. Additional research should be conducted to further investigate the low academic achievement among deaf children. The diversity among signing systems at school and between home and school should also be analyzed. Finally, future studies should examine curriculum and instruction methods to increase the academic achievement of deaf children.

Subject Area

Curricula|Teaching|Special education

Recommended Citation

Cunningham, Lisa Namey, "The identification of early factors related to academic achievement among deaf students" (1999). ProQuest ETD Collection for FIU. AAI9924328.