Professional Psychotherapy &

Assessment Services  

​Sven Schild, PhD

Licensed Clinical Psychologist & Certified EMDR Clinician

TRAUMA EXPOSURE AND TRAUMATIC SYMPTOMS IN DEAF ADULTS

ABSTRACT


While existing research suggests vulnerability of the deaf community to trauma, very little data exists on prevalence, symptom manifestation, and/or unique characteristics of the response of deaf adults and children to traumatic events. In this research, 79 deaf adults were interviewed with the Clinician Administered PTSD Scale, the Life Event Checklist, the Trauma Symptom Inventory, the Peritraumatic Distress Scale, and the Somatoform Dissociation Questionnaire. The average number of unique trauma types experienced per participant was high, averaging 6.18 (SD = 2.65). Findings supported the dose-response model for trauma. Vulnerability factors included number of traumatic events, race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, additional disabilities, prior substance abuse, and low social support. Higher levels of trauma exposure were associated with more depression, anger, irritability, sexual concerns, tension reduction behaviors, and substance abuse problems. The unique trauma symptoms of deaf trauma survivors, including higher levels of dissociation, are discussed. A concept relevant to the deaf trauma community—information deprivation trauma—is introduced. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2011 APA, all rights reserved)

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