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PERSONALITY A S A FACTOR 25 consider changes brought about b y the gr9wth process in adolesÂ cence. The adoption of a hearing aid may produce modification of behavior as the result of the increased ability to communicate more adequately with the external environment. While it may be asÂ sumed that such obvious personality changes can be attributed to some extent to the subject's use of a ï¿½earing aid, all factors must be considered. Finally, change desirable in one type of personality may be considered as undesirable in another. For example, an inÂ dividual who had adequately controlled his aggressive qualities beÂ cause of his inability to hear well, might give free reign to those characteristics once he was relieved from his inhibiting tensions. On the other hand, an individual who was normally aggressive but had used a withdrawing pattern of adjustment could easily adapt himself to a socially acceptable type of self-assertive behavior with a dominant pattern of leadership. RESULTS OF EVALUATION OF PERSONALITY ADJUSTMENT BASED ON CASE STUDIES In this study, therefore, the degree or amount of obvious imÂ provement ( 1 ) in ability to get along with other people, ( 2 ) in the state of happiness or release from tensions on the part of the subjects, and ( 3 ) in socially acceptable behavior, was used to evalÂ uate modification of behavior. Although obviously such rough measures are entirely . subjective, the consensus of opinion, evident in the reports from parents and teachers, as to obvious personality changes tends to be a fairly consistent measure. A behavior pattern characteristic of 5 5 per cent of all the subÂ jects could be classified as shy, withdrawing, or submissive at the present time. _ Sixty per cent of the aid wearers as compared with 40 per cent of the no-aid wearers were described by their parents . as being timid or shy. Â· Since a majority of the children who are wearing the aids had previously used withdrawal techniques as deÂ fensive behavior in coping with their handicap, their obvious need and desire for wider social contacts may have motivated them to accept their aids in order to achieve more desirable social adjustÂ ment. Two factors must be considered. First, many of the children who are using aids to good advantage at present had been timid
26 LEARNING TO USE HEARING AIDS and submissive prior to wearing them. No parent of these aid wearers said that he considered his child to have made an entirely satisfactory adjustment before he received his aid. Such statements as the following are taken as evidence of parents' concern about the personalities of their children prior to wearing aids : "R. was too shy and was afraid of being asked questions to which he couldn't respond. As a result he kept to himself and sought refuge in reading." "L. is shy. She has no push. She doesn't make friends easily." "S. is not self-sufficient. He is too dependent on other people, especially me. ( Mother speaking) . He feels lost when he is alone and he has no confidence in his own ability." "S. was constantly daydreaming. I was afraid that he would have a traffic accident some day when he wasn't looking." The fact that these children were of a submissive nature may have led them to accept the wearing of an aid more readily than the children who were more aggressive and self-assertive in beÂ havior. The findings suggest that the aggressive child needs psyÂ chological preparation before he is ready to accept the wearing of a hearing aid. Those children who had a tendency to revolt against authority in form of either parental discipline or school discipline require some kind of reassurance as to the advantages and gains beÂ fore they are ready to wear an aid successfully. Thirty-two per cent of the children who wore aids were deÂ scribed as nervous prior to wearing them. T.heir parents said that the children bit their nails, twitched nervously, cried easily, were sensitive to criticism,. and were subject to temper tantrums. Two of them were stutterers. Four of them had exhibited aggressive beÂ havior in some form. CLASSIFICATION OF AD]USTMENT OF AID WEARING GROUP In many cases, the parents of the aid wearers said that their chilÂ dren had improved since wearing their aids, and that they now gave evidence of greater confidence in themselves. The aid wearers can be roughly classified in three groups. The first group, or 44 per cent of the aid wearers, have shown noticeable personality imÂ provement since they began wearing aids. Their personalities apï¿½
P E R SO N A L I T Y A S A FACTOR 27 pear to have up.dergone a transformation from undesirable withÂ drawing behavior and excessive timidity Â· to social competence and in three cases to leadership. Â· The second group, 3 2 per cent, appear to have made good adjustments during the last four years, but have not changed as completely as the first group. The third group, or 24 per cent, still retain some of the characteristically undesirable modes of adjustment of withdrawal or aggression employed prior to receiving aids. An actual case will be described to give a more detailed picture of the characteristics of these three groups. The following case history presents evidence of a personality deÂ velopment from aggresive non-adjustive behavior to leadership and social competence, a pattern characteristic of the first group. The Case of Richard Richard is a pleasant-looking youth of fifteen. He wears his aid conÂ stantly and feels that it has helped him. He described his first reactions to his aid in this manner: "It was like entering a new world. There were so many new sounds and there are still so many sounds that I cannot Â· identify them all. I keep on asking my parents where the sounds come from and what the sounds mean." Before he received his aid, he had been extremely self-conscious of his hearing loss, which had been caused by a mastoid operation. His mother said that after his illness she had to cater to him more than she did to two older brothers and a sister. The other boys had sold newspapers and had tried to be helpful around the house but Richard has never been al- , lowed to work because his mother feared that he might get hurt. He played with other children, but often became involved in squabbling with them. Childrt:n used to delight in boxing his ears and he seems to have suffered from more accidents to his ears than children normally do. When he felt especially. sorry for himself he would stay home and read a great deal. He nevt:r had many friends and was not a good mixer. Wben company camt: to the house, he usually withdrew to his room to read. His mother was glad that they lived in a large house because Richard was able to go off by himself without interference by the other children. He often said that he would have liked to join some group or club, but he did not have enough self-confidence to make the initial effort. He said that his hearing difficulty had made . some difference to the children at school because they never asked him to play with them. If he wanted to participate in their activities he usually had to force himself into the group. The children never voluntarily invited him to participate. His favorite activity was reading. To avoid embarrassment, he kept to himself most of the time and sought comfort in his books. Richard's school principal said that although he had been retarded he
28 LEARNING TO USE HEARING AIDS bad never given the teachers any trouble. Outside of school, however, he was forever getting into difficulty. The children complained about him, and the people in the school district often told the principal about his escapades. The children avoided him and on the infrequent occasions when he managed to enter their games he usually got into a fight. Since Richard has had his aid, however, there has been a noticeable change in his personality. He has begun to show an interest in art and has done outstanding art work in school. Although his academic grades have not greatly changed, he is in the upper half of his class and his marks are satisfactory. He has become friendly and cooperative so that now the other children respect and like him. He thinks that the children treat him with more attention because he wears the hearing aid, but says, "I rather appreciate this attention,. The children are considerate and ask me if I want to play with them now and show some concern as to whether I hear them in the games." He attends classes at the Museum of Natural History and has also become a member of the Audubon Society. He said that he particularly enjoys the social relationships that these two groups offer him. Among them he never feels self-conscious or embarrassed. The members accept him and he especially enjoys the field trips. He always wears his aid on field trips and feels like one of the group. Through this interest, he has assumed leadership among the boys of his own age. He gets up at five in the morning on Saturdays to take a group of his friends on nature study trips. On these excursions he explains the different kinds of trees to the other boys and teaches them the names of man y flowers and birds. He has also joined the Boy Scouts and takes part in all their activities. His mother thinks that Richard has gained the respect and admiration of other boys through his knowledge of a field of study unfamiliar to them. He no longer stays home as much as he formerly did but now has friends who not only visit him but also invite him to their homes. The boys call for him much more frequently than they did before he wore his aid. He gets into fewer quarrels and he is not "picked on" as much as he used to be. According to Richard himself, he is happier now than he ever was before, and he feels that he has realized his ambition to be acÂ cepted as a member of a group. In this case, a boy who had withdrawn from social contacts beÂ cause his aggressive efforts for recognition had always resulted in frustration was able to make a satisfactory adjustment through fulÂ fillment of the very drives which had always motivated him. He had craved social contacts, the prestige of leadership, and a feeling of social adequacyï¿½ Only his hearing loss had prevented him from developing the interests and talents which would serve as a source of prestige and gratifying experiences. As soon as he was able to circumvent his hearing loss through his increased powers of com-
PERSONALITY AS A FACTOR 29 munication by means of an aid, his personality adjustment became channelized into desirable outlets. The next case, Tom, illustrates the characteristics of the second group mentioned on page 27. Tom provides an example of a boy who has been much happier since he began to wear a hearing aid, and hence may be considered to have improved his adjustment, alÂ though he still retains many of his maladjustive behavior patterns. Since he has shown improvement in some direction, the possibility is always present that he ultimately may make a more adequate personality adjustment. The Case of Tom Tom is a pleasant, docile young man, extremely meticulous in his dress and general appearance. Up until the time that he received his aid, he was so completely shut out from the world that most of his experiences were confined to those gained through books. As a result, he speaks in a stilted, bookish manner. His enunciation is distinct, but the construction of his sentences is rather difficult to follow:. At present he is wearing his aid and gets along very well with it. According to him, it has helped him "eduÂ cationally, in the movies, and conversationally." He had never been able to hear at the movies before and now for tbe first time he is also able to hear the radio. When asked about his attitude toward his aid, he said that he used to be "low" about everything. "Now I have improved so much that I'm even able to try for a scholarship in college, so you can guess how much my attitude has changed." His mother said that she had a great deal of difficulty with him before he got his aid. He depended entirely upon her. He had to read lips, and he seemed to be out o.f things. When the weather was bad, he showed great irritability because at that time his hearing became worse. He did poorly in school and each year barely passed. His average grade in elementary school was usually below 65 per cent. His teachers, however, always unÂ derstood his difficulty and made allowances for him. He had few friends in school and always felt neglected. The other children had parties to which he waï¿½ never invited. He stayed home practically all the time. In describing his social relations during this period he showed emotional stress. The only party he ever attended was at the time he graduated, but he said, "Everybody went who wanted to. I'm sure they wouldn't have invited me if the party hadn't been given for the whole graduating class." One boy who entered school on the same day that Tom did remained his fast friend during his childhood years. The other children continually neglected him. He described this situation as follows : "They just didn't bother with me. No one talked to me. They weren't mad at me. They
30 L E A R N IN G TO US E H E A RING AID S just didn't pay :.ny attention to me. " It was the indifference of the other children that buthered him rather than his failure to gain their friendship. At first he was reluctant to wear a hearing aid. He disliked the fact that it bulged, and even now he wears his suit a size too large. At first he couldn't hear at all with the aid, and the pressure from the bone conÂ duction instrument bothered him. His mother, however, urged him to wear it. Previously she had promised to buy him an aid as soon as she could afford it. They had planned to save until they had enough money for one. To en.:ourage him, his mother often cut advertisements out of newspapers describing the uses of hearing aids and the advantages of wearÂ ing one. U:nder her kindly persuasion, Tom finally consented to wear it. According to his mother, "it certainly made 1 0 0 per cent improvement in him." He seemed to grow up suddenly. There was an immediate improveÂ ment in his ï¿½chool work. He mingled more with other children. He liked his teachers better. He got into fewer quarrels with his older brother. He became more helpful around the house. He showed more interest in school activities. Before he got his aid, his mother had to help him with his school work every day. He brought his lessons home and she had to tutor him. This was the only way in which he was able to get through his school work. As soon as he began wearing an aid, he stopped bringing his work home. Since the first day he put on his aid, he hasn't asked his mother to help him with his work. His speech has improved also, but his mother thinks his conversation is still stilted. His school work has shown marked improvement in all subjects. He wears the aid continually and never turns it off except for gymnastics. The children no longer seem unfriendly toward him, and he is able to engage in all group activities in school. The children are careful not to push or jostle him because he has warned them against breaking his aid. One of his teachers described him as well above average. He seems to be working to h1s utmost capacity. While he is not a leader in . class, he is well liked by . the other children. At the beginning of the term, he told his teacher that in order to get along well it was necessary for him to have someone who could interpret to him any part of the work that he was missing. One of his friends who is taking the same course has registered for the same c lasses as Tom. The two of them work together and Tom leans heavily on this friend for assistance. Tom does not seem to have gained enough self-confidence in his own ability to understand his teachers and to work by himself. He needs the security of knowing that someone with normal hearing is there to help him out in a difficult situation. AlÂ though the faculty decided that Tom ought to join a different group in order to take some work that might be of greater value to him, he refused and asked permission to remain where he was. He seems to be fearful about making new contacts and likes the security of a familiar situation. Tom's mother also expressed concern over his dependence upon her. Hf'
PE R S O N A L I T Y A S A FACTOR 31 feels lost when he is alone and is sure the he cannot get along withou t asÂ sistance or the ,Â·eassuring presence of someone who is familiar to him. He has no confidence in his own ability. His mother thinks he needs to develop a feeling of security and independence and that the only way he can do this is by making maximum use of his aid. In this case, the maladjustments have become so deeply rooted in this type of personality that improving the immediate enÂ vironmental influences has not provided adequate force to bring about the much needed change within the individual. However, continued use of an aid may eventually result in satisfactory adÂ justment. It is evident that in a case of this type the individual has made great strides in improving his immediate situation, yet his basic patterns were established during the period when he felt comÂ pletely isolated and dependent on others. In still another case, a boy who uses his aid occasionally has failed to improve because his inner tensions have prevented him from making maximum use of his instrument. He gets along well with people simply because he never bothers anyone. His rigid training and home environment have made his behavior socially acceptable and he is well li]f.ed by his teachers and a few friends. His great need is for a more adequate social life. He wants to be a member of a group where he can be sought out and respected. He broods over his feelings of isolation and insecurity and hence is thwarting the very forces essential for meeting his needs. This case illustrates the third group mentioned on page 27. The Case of Tony Tony is a tense, ungainly boy of sixteen. His mother, a widow, works during the day and Tony takes care of the house. He has an older sister, who also works, and a younger brother of fourteen. His mother discovered that he was hard of hearing when he was quite a young child, but he is not sure how young he was at the time. "It wasn't me that knew, it was my mother. When you are small, people don't talk much to you and it is hard to find out if you can hear or not." He attended a school for the hard of hearing but didn't like it. The slowness of the class's progress bothered him and he was finally transferred to a regular public school. He got along well with the other children, according to his story, but he brushed tears out of his eyes as he said this. He rationalized his disÂ ability by saying that the only advantage he could see in being hard of hearinï¿½ was that he could not hear the other boys when they talked and that thus he stayed out of trouble. The children have never included him
32 LEARNING TO USE HEARING AIDS in any of their activities and he feels especially sensitive about this. He fears that if he wears his hearing aid, they will reject him entirely. His hearing disability has made a lot of difference in his life. He gets "kind of lonely and I don't like to be lonely. I like to be with a lot of people and do what ï¿½hey do. Everyone else seems to be having such a good time. People talk to each other and laugh, but nobody bothers talking or laughing with me." When he first received his aid, he was reluctant to try it. His mother encouraged him to wear it by telling him a story about a man she knows who is able to carry on a successful business by using a hearing aid. Tony described his emotional reactions in the following manner: "It was a tough job at first. I didn't know where to put it." Even though he wore it every day the children in school didn't say anything about it, but "I could tell from their faces what they must be thinking." To please his mother he continued to wear it for six months, but finally gave it up because he felt that everyone was staring at him. He wears his aid in the house, and occasionally on the street, but has not the courage to wear it to school. He has an unusually fine school record. He is in the third term of high school and is taking a radio course. His marks range from 75 to 9 5 per cent and have shown a progressive improvement in the past three years. His citizenship and health education marks show a superior record. His teachers have recorded the fact that he is capable, conscientious, and quiet. He has been marked excellent in all character traits. His mother described Tony as a "very good boy. He never gives a bad answer. He is very kind to his sister and his brother, and he is very handy around the house. He likes to do heavy work when he comes home, but he does his homework first." His sister insists that Tony has "a lot of preference in the house, because he needs it more than anyone else. Even little Vito helps Tony when necessary." His mother thinks that it is imÂ portant for her to convince Tony that, he must wear his aid. She said that he needs a lot of patience and help. She is sure his friends like him better when he has his aid on and that it is better for the whole family. Tony said that he always felt unhappy, but he is sure that wearing the aid to school would only increase this feeling. He is quite willing to wear it at home in order to please his family, to whom he is devoted, but he feels that he cannot risk losing his friends by wearing it to school. CASE STUDY CHARACTERIZATION OF NO-AID GROUP On the whole, the aid group showed much better adjustment than the no-aid group. Every subject in the no-aid group presented some kind of behavior problem as stated by either the parent or the teacher. One-third of the no-aid wearers were serious discipline
PERSON ALITY A S A FACTOR 33 problems in school, with the offenses ranging from truancy, stubÂ bornness, disturbing influence, and failure to comply with sc}lool rules to minor infractions such as failure to pay attention in class. Two no-aid girls had left school. One was considered by the guidÂ ance counsellor to be an unmanageable delinquent. Even though her attendance at school had been sporadic, her guardian had reÂ fused to intervene and, as a result, she had finally been expelled. Another girl had left school because she was over age and did not fit in with the rest of the children. Four children were reported by their teachers to present serious behavior problems. One principal described such a child in his school as follows: "She is inclined to be silly and is very interested in boys. She is always noisy and loud, and is not very reliable. She requires much more attention than other children." His general impression of her is that she is a difÂ ficult student who has given much trouble. Although this girl takes the aid to school with her, she does not use it. in class, but manages to attract attention by fussing with it. Both principal and teacher at the vocational high school attended by still another girl described her as silly, constantly giggling, and showing little interest in her class work. This girl is resented by her classmates for her disturbing influence. A third girl was reported by her teacher as a discipline problem because of her assertiveness and quarrelsome manner. Although she appears to be improving in her adjustment in school, after some trouble at the beginning of the term, her mother described her as unmanageable at home. She quarrels with the other members of her family and manages to get her own way by screaming until the family are compelled to accede to her wishes. A boy who had discontinued wearing his aid has a long record of truancy and his widowed mother finds that she cannot control him. Those children who were not reported by their teachers as probÂ lems or as difficult to handle, because they were of a quiet or subÂ missive nature in the school situation, were usually problems to their parents in the home situation. One girl who was a model puÂ pil in school displayed stubborn, aggressive behavior at home. One boy constantly quarreled with his father about his need for indeÂ pendence, but was a good student in school. As a group, the no-aid wearers gave evidence of more behavior difficulties and personality problems than did the aid wearers.
34 LEARNING TO USE HEARING AIDS One principal described the type of problem he had to cope with as follows : The Case of Edgar Edgar is in grade 7B and has a. record in the school of being a confirmep truant. The school consists of about 1 5 0 boys who had been problem boys in other schools. They all have been sent here as a means of discipline and adjustment. The principal reports that Edgar reads lips well and seems to understand when he is spoken to. He wore his aid when he first came to school in 1 942, but he didn't wear it steadily. When he did have it on, his teacher noticed that he turned it off in class. He works at a newsstand at night and spends his time in school sleeping. The principal suspects that Edgar may be suffering from some glandular dysfunction, since he is markedly overweight. He has a record of truancy, which the principal attributes to an overindulgent mother not able to conÂ trol her son. Outside of school it appears that he is associating witl;t bad company. He seems to hate the other boys in school. He is willful and headstrong, and once he has made up his mind to do something nothing can swerve him. To encourage him in his school Rrogress, he has been asked to report to the principal's office every two weeks for a conference. All his teachers have been informed that he is hard of hearing and they constantly remind him to wear his aid, but he has consistently refused. He said that he preÂ fers to be considered stupid rather than physically defective. The mother shows great concern over her son's attitude toward her, toward his home, and toward school. She feels quite helpless and does not know how to cope with her son. His hearing disability is a minor concern to her as compared with all the other problems he presents. She seems to have rejected him for many years, for her conversation consisted entirely of criticism of her son's behavior. He stays away from home at night and even though he says that he is working, he does not give his mother any portion of his earnings. She knows that he is a truant, but she c annot exert enough influence over him to compel him to go to school. In response to a question from the worker as to whether the mother thought that Edgar's failures in school might be attributed to his hearing loss, she replied that she did not think so, but that Edgar was just a " bad boy," and that his poor hearing had nothing to do with his being bad. In summary, the evidence from the case studies, based on data assembled from interviews with the children, the parents, and teachers and other school officials, is ( 1 ) that the children who disÂ continued use of the hearing aids were less well adjusted socially than those who continued to wear them, being on the whole more aggressive and more difficult to handle, and apparently less happy
PERSONALITY AS A F A C T O il 35 and less able to fit in the usual social groupings and ( 2 ) that those who continued to wear the aids have improved in their social adÂ justment during the period the aids have been worn. To these conclusions, based on subjective appraisals of evidence given in reports of persons acquainted with the children, should be added data obtained from objective personality tests. RESULTS OF USE OF BERNREUTER PERSONALITY INVENTORY The Bernreuter Personality Inventory was used to obtain an obÂ jective evaluation of personality adjustment. This inventory measÂ ures six different aspects at one time. These are described by the Â· author as follows : 1. Neurotic tendency. Persons scoring high on this scale tend to be emotionally unstable. Those scoring low tend to be very well balÂ anceo emotionally. 2. Self-sufficiency. Persons scoring high on this scale prefer to be alone, rarelyÂ· ask for sympathy or encouragement, and tend to ignore the advice of others. Those scoring low dislike solitude and often seek advice and encouragement. 3 . Introversion-extroversion. Persons scoring high on this scale tend to be introverted ; that is, they are imaginative and tend to live withÂ in themselves. Those scoring low are extroverted ; that is, they rarely worry, seldom suffer emotional upsets, and rarely substitute dayÂ dreaming for action. 4. Dominance-submiï¿½ sion. Persons scoring high on this scale tend to dominate others in face-to-face situations. Those scoring l ow tend to be submissive. 5 . Confidence in oneself. Persons scoring high on this scale tend to be hamperingly self-conscious and to have feelings of inferiority. Those scoring low tend to be wholesomely self-confident and to be very well adj usted to their environment. 6. Sociability. Persons scoring high on this scale tend to be non-social, solitary, or independent. Those scoring low tend to be sociable and gregarious. Table VI gives the mean percentiles separately for boys and girls in the aid and no-aid groups. The results for the girls indicate that in all the six aspects of persoQality measured by this test, the mean percentiles hover aï¿½out the average, but that the aid wearers
36 LEARNING TO USE HEARING AIDS on the whole show better adjustment scores than do the no-aid children, although in some traits the differences are insignificant. The greatest difference in favor of the aid wearers is found on the measure of sociability. This suggests that the girls who wore the aids were more sociable and gregarious than those who did not. TABLE VI : PERCENTILE RATINGS ON THE BERNREUTER PERSONALITY INVENTORY FOR AID WEARING AND NO-AID WEARING CHILDREN GIRLS BOYS Â· Aid No-Aid AiJ No-Aitl N = II N = 10 N= 14 N=J Neurotic tendency . . . . . ... . 39 46 44 26 Self-sufliciï¿½ncy . . . . . . . . . .. . . 45 S1 39 38 Introversion-extraversion . . . 39 42 41 22 Dominance-submission . . . . . . 52 55 51 52 Confidence in oneself . . . . . . . 50 54 43 39 Sociability . . . . . . . . . . . . . ... . 26 50 26 14 It should be noted that the parents of the girl aid wearers had reported that the children had improved in their social adjustment, and that they had gained self-confidence in their social relationÂ ships. Thus the objective test results in this case confirm the reÂ ports of parents and school workers as well as the impressions gained in the interviews. In the case of the boys, the results are not so clear-cut. The mean percentiles for the aid wearing boys are similar to those for the aid wearing girls in that tlaey too hover about the average, with the same tendency to be sociable and gregarious. The no-aid pupilï¿½ however, appear to be better balanced emotionally, more extroÂ verted, and even more outgoing. It should be kept in mind, howÂ ever, that there are only three no-aid boys as compared with fourÂ teenboy aid wearers and that in two cases the results for the no-aid boys do not confirm the observations of parents and teachers and the interview impressions. These inconsistencies force us to express skepticism concerning the value of the Bernreuter results for our purposes. To summarize, for all groups the results on the Bernreuter PerÂ sonality Inventory indicate average or better than average adjust-
HOME E NV I R O NM E N T 37 ment. In the case of the girl aid wearers as compared with the no,. aid girls, the aid wearers made slightly better scores on the whole with the greatest advantage in the measure of sociability. The case for the boy aid wearers as compared with the no-aid boys is not as clear-cut, perhaps because of the small number of cases, so not much confidence can be placed in the Bernreuter reÂ sults. V. Home Environment The effect of home environment as a factor in influencing the decisions of children in the wearing of hearing aids was studied in terms of the socio-economic status of the family, the efforts of the parents,in getting the children to wear aids, the relationships existÂ ing among the various members of the family, and the familial ,atÂ titude toward the child's disability and toward his wearing of an aid . Children coming from homes of lower economic status tend to reject the wearing of hearing aids in greater number than those coming from better homes. Sixteen per cent of the aid group could be considered as coming from poverty-stricken homes, while S4 per cent of the children not wearing their aids came from comparÂ able environments. Approximately 5 2 per cent of the aid group and 3 1 per cent of the no-aid group came from average middleÂ class homes. Thirty-two per cent of the aid wearers came from homes in which the parents were home-owners, members of proÂ fessions, or business proprietors. Only 1 S per cent of the no-aid group could be considered as coming from similar homes. ApparÂ ently children from a deprived environment tend to discard their aids more readily than do children who have environmental adÂ vantages. The fact that on the whole the home environment of the aid wearers provides richer experiences suggests that children who are accustomed to the better things of life more readily accept innovations which will help them both in adjustment and in inÂ creasing their opportunities for contacts with the outside world. All the parents who were interviewed mentioned some efforts by