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Arlow, J.A. (1976). Communication and Character—A Clinical Study of a Man Raised by Deaf-Mute Parents. Psychoanal. St. Child, 31:139-163.

(1976). Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, 31:139-163

Communication and Character—A Clinical Study of a Man Raised by Deaf-Mute Parents

Jacob A. Arlow, M.D.

WHILE THERE IS AN EXTENSIVE LITERATURE OF PSYCHOLOGICAL studies of the deaf, as late as 1975 no studies were reported on how people, deaf since birth, function as parents and what effect this deficiency may have on their children who can hear (Tendler, 1975). Demographic studies have demonstrated that 90.7 percent of children born to deaf parents have normal hearing (Rainer and Deming, 1969). Since so many children are involved in this situation, observations from the psychoanalytic treatment of children of the deaf are most timely.

The unusual situation of a child being raised by parents who are unable to communicate with him through the regular channel of speech raises many interesting issues. Different approaches to the data of observation are possible depending on the specific questions posed. Since this contribution is directed primarily to the study of how this unusual circumstance influences character formation, I propose to study the data from the point of view of two broad questions.

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