The READY research project is following the lives of deaf young people aged 16 – 19 over 5 years. We are still looking for recruits, particularly deaf young people from lower income backgrounds. We have currently recruited 246 from England, Scotland and Wales, although only 158 have continued past the information and consent forms to complete the online questionnaire.
The green dots are people fully in the study, and the red dots are young people who have not completed the consent process. If you have encouraged pupils to join the READY study, it would be really helpful if you could check to see if they have made it past this consent stage, as across the UK there are 88 young people in this red dot category. A little encouragement could help us reach a much wider and probably more representative group.
Here are the early findings from the first year of the study. In terms of wellbeing, the 73 deaf young people who answered this question have worse mental health than hearing age equivalents, though it was only significantly worse for women. The young people in this study assessed their overall health as much lower than hearing age equivalents. This first cohort felt confident about their employment opportunities, though these responses were collected before the first lockdown in March 2020. In terms of friendships, the group have both deaf and hearing friends but interact more with hearing friends. Larger friendship networks were related to higher socioeconomic status, as other studies have shown. Interestingly, young people with an additional impairment also have larger social networks.
Rachel O’Neill and Helen Chilton