Investigating the experiences of deaf or hard of hearing children participating in sport

Somerset, Sarah (2020) Investigating the experiences of deaf or hard of hearing children participating in sport. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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This thesis investigates sports participation in deaf or hard of hearing children. Participation in sport is evidenced to have a positive effect on mental and physical health. In children, it can help to facilitate socialisation. For deaf or hard of hearing children the sports environment exposes them to challenges and opportunities they may not otherwise gain in life.

This PhD consists of a series of studies exploring sports participation starting with a systematic review of general barriers to participation in sport in children. In this, ‘cost’ and ‘time’ emerged as key barriers to participation in sport, reaching a conclusion that more localised sports opportunities are required to enable cost reduction. This might be achieved by schools and clubs working collaboratively to provide local opportunities.

Next, issues surrounding sports participation in deaf or hard of hearing children (10 to 15 years) were explored via focus groups. Children were recruited from mainstream schools, schools for the deaf and schools with supporting units for deaf children. A key barrier to participation was a lack of deaf awareness amongst hearing peers and sports educators.

To then explore the perspectives of parents and sports educators of deaf or hard of hearing children semi-structured interviews were conducted. Parents and educators felt that deaf or hard of hearing children should participate in sport but face barriers to this. Some sports educators felt teaching deaf children was no different to teaching hearing children but visual demonstrations and slight adaptations in communication were required.

Parents felt their children were missing opportunities to participate in sport due to lack of information relating to availability of sessions compared to their hearing peers. Deaf or hard of hearing children with a supportive network or parents and educators will have greater opportunities to access sports.

To reach overall conclusions on what are the main barriers and facilitators to sports participation for deaf and hard of hearing children, a synthesis was performed using a mixed methods research approach. This identified internal (personal) barriers, external (other person) barriers and resource, education and awareness as key factors contributing to sports participation in deaf or hard of hearing children.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Hoare, Derek J.
Leighton, Paul
Keywords: Sports participation; Children with deafness; Children with hearing problems; Physical activity
Subjects: QS-QZ Preclinical sciences (NLM Classification) > QT Physiology
W Medicine and related subjects (NLM Classification) > WV Otolaryngology
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > School of Medicine
Item ID: 60381
Depositing User: Somerset, Sarah
Date Deposited: 13 Oct 2023 11:10
Last Modified: 13 Oct 2023 11:10

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