Enhancing Theory-of-Mind Discourse among Deaf Parents of Children with Hearing Loss

Margalit Ziv, Irit Meir, Lucy Malky

Abstract


Children with hearing loss often have difficulties in the socio-emotional domain that can be attributed to a significant delay in the development of theory of mind (ToM). The current article describes a workshop aimed at enhancing deaf parents' awareness of the importance of ToM development and enriching parent-child conversations with developmentally appropriate mental state contents. Eight deaf mothers from mid- low SES background participated in six sessions and were guided to enrich their mental discourse while naturally interacting with their deaf children. The mothers' use of mental terms was assessed at the beginning and end of the program. Following their participation in the workshop, mothers used more mental terms when interacting with their children, explained more elaborately mental motives underlying people's behavior and described their children's personality by referring more frequently to their social likes and dislikes. We conclude that parental guidance that addresses parents' interests and needs can assist in enriching their mental discourse and mediation when interacting with their children. As parents are major agents in enhancing development of theory of mind, the reported change may have long-lasting effects on their children.


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.11114/jets.v1i2.169

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Journal of Education and Training Studies  ISSN 2324-805X (Print)   ISSN 2324-8068 (Online)

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