Sign Language and Psychological Development of Deaf Children: State-of-the-Art (Foreign Studies Review)



The article presents a review of research conducted by foreign psychologists on the role of sign language in the communicative, cognitive and social development of children with hearing disorders. Each national sign language is a kind of linguistic system that has a complex grammar, specific vocabulary and syntax. The main problems that arise in deaf children in the situation of ignoring the possibilities of sign language are discussed. A number of studies have shown that deaf children of deaf parents are not inferior to hearing children in their cognitive capabilities, that the use of sign language has a positive effect on cognitive functions and leads to greater creative activity, a better understanding of spatial relationships, and greater flexibility in solving problems. Researchers recognize the need for early acquisition of sign language by deaf children, even in case of use of modern rehabilitation techniques. It is sign language that could make up for the lack of communication tools characteristic of the initial stages of a child's mental development, which would serve to develop the cognitive sphere and personality and create conditions for emotional well-being. The review focuses on the difficulties in using sign language that are observed when selecting diagnostic tools and conducting psychological examinations.

General Information

Keywords: deaf children, sign language, communication of the deaf, emotional well-being, cognitive development

Journal rubric: Theoretical Research

Article type: review article


For citation: Bogdanova T.G. Sign Language and Psychological Development of Deaf Children: State-of-the-Art (Foreign Studies Review) [Elektronnyi resurs]. Klinicheskaia i spetsial'naia psikhologiia = Clinical Psychology and Special Education, 2021. Vol. 10, no. 2, pp. 3–22. DOI: 10.17759/cpse.2021100202. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

Tamara G. Bogdanova, Doctor of Psychology, Professor of the Department of Special Psychology and Psycho-Social Technologies of the Institute of Special Education and Psychology, Moscow City University, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:



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