Cognitive ability and behavioral adaptability are distinct, yet related, constructs that can impact childhood development. Both are often reduced in deaf children of hearing parents who do not provide sufficient language and communication access. Additionally, parental depression is commonly observed due to parent–child communication difficulties that can lead to parents’ feelings of inadequacy and frustration. We sought to assess whether adaptive behavior in deaf children was associated with nonverbal intelligence and parental depression. Parents of precochlear implant patients seen for neuropsychological assessment were administered the Parenting Stress Index and Vineland Behavior Adaptive Scales to obtain measures of parental distress and child’s behavioral adaptability. Precochlear implant patients’ cognitive functioning was assessed via the Mullen Scales of Early Learning or the Leiter International Performance Scale-Revised, depending on the child’s age at the time of testing. Regardless of age or neurological status, the deaf child’s adaptive behavior consistently showed a strong relationship with intelligence. Moderate correlation between parental depression and the child’s adaptive behavior was observed only in the younger group. The relationship between parental depression and communication subscale was moderated by intelligence for deaf children without neurological complications. The findings provide important implications for promoting family-centered interventions with early communication and language development.
  • Author(s):
    Kushalnagar, P.; Krull, KR; Hannay, HJ; Mehta, PD; Caudle, SE; Oghalai, J
  • Published:
  • Journal:
    Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education
  • Volume:
  • Issue:
  • DOI:
  • View Article


Kushalnagar, P., Krull, K., Hannay, J., Mehta, P., Caudle, S., & Oghalai, J. (2007). Intelligence, parental depression, and behavior adaptability in deaf children being considered for cochlear implantation. Journal of deaf studies and deaf education, 12(3), 335–349.