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Title:Use of American Sign Language for Underwater Communication
Author(s):Salter, Marilyn Burke
Department / Program:Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Speech Communication
Education, Special
Abstract:The purpose of this study was to determine if beginning SCUBA divers with the use of sign language would reveal less anxiety and more self confidence, perform underwater tasks faster and perceive themselves safer and enjoying diving more because of their use of signs than two control groups without the use of signs.
The subjects in the study were students in three beginning SCUBA classes at the University of Illinois, one group being taught signs from American Sign Language. The study involved a self evaluation questionnaire of all subjects regarding their physical and mental states of worry, physical symptoms, and self confidence, followed by two series of underwater performance tasks requiring communication and manual dexterity, and a final opinionnaire used to obtain divers' perceptions of enhanced safety and enjoyment.
Mean responses of groups were compared using one-way analyses of variance to determine whether or not there were significant differences in task performance and self evaluation measures.
The results of the study were as follows: (1) Over 78 percent of the subjects given sign language training scored 80% or better on the final comprehension measure. (2) A significant difference was found between the experimental group and one control group on mental worry and self confidence but not between the second control group. (3) No significant differences were found between the groups on task performance. (4) The experimental group was strongly supportive of the sign system and its use as an underwater communication system. Perceptions of safety and enjoyment were held by a large majority of subjects.
The major conclusions of this study were: (1) The significant differences found in the self evaluation survey cannot be soley considered due to sign language. (2) Though no significant differences were found in the task performance, sufficient differences exist to warrant further study to clarify questions that were raised. (3) Subjects were sufficiently positive and supportive of the use of sign language as an underwater communication system to warrant further study.
Issue Date:1982
Description:133 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1982.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8218555
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-15
Date Deposited:1982

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