All Theses, Dissertations, and Capstone Projects

Year of Award



Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


College of Education & Allied Health


Communication Disorders and Deaf Education

First Advisor

Ann M. Rule

Second Advisor

Linda Weldon Bufkin

Third Advisor

Michael P. Grady


communication, hearing, impaired, controlled, behaviors, speech, dyads


This research describes mother-child communicative interactions prior to and in the year following cochlear implantation. Three mother-child dyads were studied for approximately 15 months when the children were between the ages of 23 and 40 months. Videotaped observations, interviews, journals kept by the mothers, and documents were analyzed. The mothers' perceptions of their children's communicative development and the factors that influenced the children's development were described. The study showed that each of the children made dramatic progress in listening and communicating in the year following implantation. Each child increased vocalizations, imitations and use of words and phrases. The mothers demonstrated effective communication skills throughout the study and showed more extensive use of communication in the post-implant observations due to the children's increased use of vocalizations, words and phrases. Each mother was highly responsive to her child, used frequent positive feedback tone and used a high proportion of auxiliary-fronted questions to imperatives. Each mother reported substantial communicative development in listening and speaking in the year following implantation. Several factors emerged as influencing the successful use of a cochlear implant by a young child. These factors included early diagnosis of the hearing loss and early intervention. Access to quality audiology services and the child's previous experience with residual hearing also influenced the child's communicative development. Additional factors were supportive families committed to developing spoken communication with their children and the child s social and emotional development.

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.