The Association between Deaf Identity and Emotional Distress among Adolescents

Tal Lambez, Maayan Nagar, Maayan Nagar, Anat Shoshani, Ora Nakash, Ora Nakash

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


The sociocultural approach regards being deaf as a cultural characteristic in the identity of a deaf/hard-of-hearing (D/HH) person. The degree to which one integrates the hearing and Deaf cultures ("acculturation") is an important factor for the well-being of deaf adolescents. We examined the relationship between acculturation patterns and emotional distress among D/HH (n = 69) compared to hearing (n = 60) adolescents in Israel. We used culturally and linguistically accessible measures. Our findings showed no significant differences in emotional distress between D/HH and their hearing counterparts. Acculturation played an important role predicting emotional distress. Identification with both the Deaf and hearing cultures was associated with reduced somatization. Exposure to discrimination and social support was also associated with emotional distress in predictable ways. Findings are interpreted within the specific context of Israeli society and highlight the importance of using adaptive linguistic and cultural assessment tools with D/HH populations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)251-260
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education
Issue number3
StatePublished - 30 May 2020
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

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© 2020 The Author(s) 2020. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.


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