Date of Award

Spring 5-8-2023

Document Type


First Advisor

Sheila Jacobs

Second Advisor

Christine Gannon

Third Advisor

Kota Takayama


Children of Deaf adults (Coda) possess bicultural identities which may play a significant role in their mental health journeys. Bicultural identities can be a source of both stress and pride. Harmony between multiple cultural identities is associated with more positive mental health outcomes (Tikhonov et al., 2019). Codas belong to an under researched population of Deaf communities, further mystifying the inner worlds of Codas. This preliminary study aims to document the personal narratives of Codas’ lived experiences and perceptions as individuals with bicultural identities by thematic analysis of qualitative interviews with five Codas in hopes to identify areas of future research of mental health outcomes for this population. Through semistructured qualitative interviews over Zoom the researcher collected data from five Coda participants between the ages of 18-35.The researcher then transcribed and analyzed the interviews using thematic analysis. Participants shared their experiences of identity and cultural connection through their narratives, partially illustrating the inner worlds of Codas. These findings suggest that some Codas may have a need to be able to unpack their experiences with peers and culturally competent professionals for greater bicultural identity integration. While these results are preliminary, the researcher hopes that further understanding of Coda bicultural identity formation could lead to greater knowledge and also support for mental health supports for this population. This would benefit this Coda population but also to better support Deaf communities as a whole.



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