Reflections on Identity
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Reflections on Identity

To help protect your privacy, PowerPoint prevented this external picture from being automatically downloaded. To download and display this picture, click Options in the Message Bar, and then click Enable external>Reflectionsong> on IdentityIrene W. Leigh, Ph.D.EHDI 2009Dallas, TexasMarch 20091

Acculturation ModelBased on the immigration experience (e.g., Berry, 2002)Identity (hearing and deaf) has severalcomponents:Psychological identification with a socialgroupAttitudes about one’s own group andmembers of other groupsCultural behaviorsCultural competence11

Deaf Acculturation Scale(Maxwell-McCaw, McCaw, 2001; currently submitted) Hearing acculturated = high scores in hearingacculturation, low in deaf acculturation Deaf acculturated = high scores in deafacculturation, low in hearing acculturation Bicultural: high scores in both Marginal: low scores in both Highest self-esteem esteem and satisfaction with lifefor Bicultural & Deaf acculturated (Maxwell-McCaw, McCaw, 2001; Hintermair, 2008)12

Connected… Implications for Identity: Appears that positive psychosocial adjustmentis reflected by bicultural and Deaf identities Weinberg & Sterrit, 1986; Maxwell-McCaw, McCaw, 2001; Jambor & Elliott,2005; Hintermair (2008) Less often but still possible with hearingacculturated identity Comfort in shifting identities as in biculturalappears to be of importance.17

Importance of… Flexible attitude towards signed & spoken/writtenlanguages and their role in D/deaf/hard-of-hearingidentity development Flexibility in identity images thru life span Relationship between identity & psychosocial adjustment Professionals who are flexible, parent-centered, andcomfortable with D/deaf/hard-of hearing role models More appreciated by parents, will influence their images of theirdeaf/hard-of-hearing children’s identities(Christiansen & Leigh, 2002/2005; Meadow-Orlans, Mertens, & Sass-Lehrer, 2003) Better opportunities for parents to move fromdysfunctional child image to image of unique identity &positive self-esteemesteem18

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