City Research Online

Assessing parent interaction with deaf infants: A quantitative survey of UK professional practice

Curtin, M. ORCID: 0000-0001-9037-1355, Morgan, G. ORCID: 0000-0002-9495-1274, Cruice, M. ORCID: 0000-0001-7344-2262 & Herman, R. ORCID: 0000-0001-5732-9999 (2023). Assessing parent interaction with deaf infants: A quantitative survey of UK professional practice. International Journal of Language and Communication Disorders, 58(4), pp. 1148-1167. doi: 10.1111/1460-6984.12849


Between 90-95% of deaf children are born to hearing parents who often need support with how to adapt their communication. Parent child interaction (PCI) is an important predictor of deaf children’s future language development. It is therefore necessary for professionals to assess parents’ strengths and needs to identify areas for intervention. Qualified Teachers of the Deaf (QToDs), Speech and Language Therapists (SLTs), Psychologists, and National Deaf Child and Adolescent Mental Health (NDCAMHS) professionals regularly support families with deaf children. With no current evidence-based tool available to assist with the assessment of PCI in deafness, it is important to gather information on current professional practice as this may differ from known practices within research.

To survey the practices of UK-based professionals in the assessment of PCI where the deaf infant is aged 0-3 years. Professionals were QToDs, SLTs, Psychologists or Psychiatrists, and professionals working at NDCAMHS Services.

Methods and Procedures
After a pilot phase, an 85-item survey was distributed electronically through a range of professional and social media networks. Survey items were based on a systematic review of PCI with deaf infants. Survey questions were focused on parent behaviours that were assessed, methods of assessment, goal planning, and service provision. Analysis was conducted using descriptive and inferential statistics.

Outcomes and Results
A total of 190 professionals from across the UK completed part 1 of the survey; this decreased to 148 in part 4. Respondents were primarily female, hearing, used spoken English, and had 16 years or more experience. Results indicate that PCI is routinely assessed by a large proportion of professionals and there is a substantial overlap in which parent behaviours are assessed. Some parent behaviours are assessed that do not feature in the research. Methods of assessment are informal and predominantly consist of observation and note making, with professionals using their own skills and experience to analyse interaction. Goal setting practices were largely similar between professionals, with many jointly deciding goals with parents.

Conclusions and Implications
This survey highlights the range of parent behaviours assessed by UK professionals in PCI with deaf children aged 0-3. This survey provides valuable information about and for professionals who assess PCI and set intervention goals with parents. Information from research and professional practice is important to consider in the design of a future PCI assessment. Implications are included for future research in this area.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2023 The Authors. International Journal of Language & Communication Disorders published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Publisher Keywords: assessment, deaf, infant, parent–child interaction, practice, survey
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Language & Communication Science
SWORD Depositor:
[thumbnail of Intl J Lang Comm Disor - 2023 - Curtin - Assessing parent interaction with deaf infants A quantitative survey of UK.pdf]
Text - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (466kB) | Preview
[thumbnail of Assessing parent interaction with deaf infants A quantitative survey of UK professional practice (AAM) - 19.12.22.pdf] Text - Accepted Version
This document is not freely accessible due to copyright restrictions.


Add to AnyAdd to TwitterAdd to FacebookAdd to LinkedinAdd to PinterestAdd to Email


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics

Actions (login required)

Admin Login Admin Login