In recent years, empowerment and resource orientation have become vital guidelines for many of the sciences. For the field of deaf education, it is also highly important to look carefully at these guidelines if we are to acquire a better understanding as regards both the situation of the parents involved and the development of the deaf and hard of hearing children themselves. A resource-oriented approach to deaf education has therefore proved especially helpful. If both the theoretical and practical aspects of educating deaf and hard of hearing children are to benefit, research on parental experience with deafness and research on the socioemotional development of the children must always be combined and studied in the context of resource availability. In a study of 213 mothers and 213 fathers of deaf and hard of hearing children, we used an array of different questionnaires (PSI, SDQ, SOC, F-SozU, etc.) to examine the correlation between parental resources, sociodemographic variables, parental stress experience, and child socioemotional problems by way of a path analysis model. The results show that high parental stress is associated with frequent socioemotional problems in the children, thus emphasizing the importance of a resource-oriented consulting and support strategy in early intervention, because parental access to personal and social resources is associated with significantly lower stress experience. Child development seems to profit enormously from a resource-oriented support concept. In addition, the results confirm two earlier findings: parents with additionally handicapped children are especially stressed and the child's communicative competence makes for a more sound prediction than its linguistic medium (spoken language or sign). The path models for mothers and fathers agree in all essential factors. The results are discussed with a view to their meaning for pedagogical practice, and recommendations for further research are given (longitudinal data, more representative samples, cochlear implant). © Copyright 2006 Oxford University Press.
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