Psychosocial development of 5-year-old children with hearing loss: Risks and protective factors

Wong, C.L. et al. International Journal of Audiology. Published online: 19 Aug 2016

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Objective: The aims of this paper were to report on the global psychosocial functioning of 5-year-old DHH children and examine the risk and protective factors that predict outcomes.

Design: A cross-sectional analysis of data collected from a prospective, population-based longitudinal study.

Study sample: Parents/caregivers of 356 children completed questionnaires on psychosocial development (CDI, SDQ), functional communication (PEACH) and demographic information. Children completed standardized assessments of non-verbal cognitive ability (WNV) and language (PLS-4).

Results: On average, global psychosocial functioning was within the range of typically developing children; however, variability was high and 12% of children had scores that were more than 2 SDs below the norm. Non-verbal cognitive ability, presence of additional disabilities, language and functional communication significantly predicted outcomes. In contrast, type of hearing device, severity of hearing loss and age at intervention did not.

Conclusion: The global psychosocial functioning of this cohort of 5-year-old DHH children fell within the range of typically developing children. The findings suggest that spoken language ability and functional communication skills are vital for healthy psychosocial development.

Read the abstract here

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