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An investigation of joint attention skills in pre-school aged hearing-impaired children

Quigley, L; (2005) An investigation of joint attention skills in pre-school aged hearing-impaired children. Doctoral thesis , UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Background: Previous research examining joint attention and theory of mind indicates that hearing-impaired children are delayed in their development of these skills and that hearing-impaired children of hearing parents appear to be most disadvantaged. This study aims to contribute to previous research by investigating the development of joint attentional behaviours in pre-school aged hearing-impaired children in relation to hearing children of the same chronological age and children of the same language age. Method: Structured tests were used to explore abilities of three groups of children—hearing-impaired, age-matched and language-matched. Joint attentional responses were monitored and used as a measure of ability in tests of social orientation, social referencing, shared attention and gaze following. Results: No statistical differences were found between the hearing-impaired children and the age-matched children, nor between the hearing-impaired and language-matched children. However, trends were visible to show hearing- impaired children performing at a lower level than the age-matched children, and in some cases, also at a lower level than the language-matched children. In other instances the hearing-impaired children performed better than the other two groups. Conclusion: These results suggest that joint attention may not be a necessary 'pre-cursor' for the development of theory of mind in hearing-impaired children. Further investigations with these children to investigate their theory of mind abilities later on may provide additional insight into the development of such skills in this group of children. Methodological limitations could have affected the significance of the results obtained, as could the small size of the sample, and the results should be viewed with this in mind.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: An investigation of joint attention skills in pre-school aged hearing-impaired children
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by ProQuest.
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Language and Cognition
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1567744
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