The social -emotional impact of cochlear implants on children

Janna R Stein, Pace University


Research shows that children who are deaf have difficulty socializing when they are with a group of hearing peers. Deaf children also have lower self-esteem than their hearing peers. The number of deaf children receiving cochlear implants is growing daily. The present study was conducted to examine whether deaf children with cochlear implants differ in perceived acceptance and competence as compared with their hearing peers. To date, there has been very little research into the psychological effects of cochlear implants in children. All participants were subjects in a larger study designed to examine the factors that influence the development in deaf children with cochlear implants of positive relationships with hearing peers. Participants were 8 deaf children, ages 5 to 6, who received a cochlear implant at the New York University Cochlear Implant Center (CIC) at least I year prior to participation. Each child with an implant was matched by age and gender to a hearing control child. Both children were asked to play with each other for 20 minutes in a room with age-appropriate toys. These sessions were videotaped and later coded. Modes of communication, initiation and response to interactions, and other aspects of the streams of behavior were assessed. Following the play session, parents of the child with the cochlear implant completed a series of questionnaires, including the Child Behavior Scale (CBS; L,add & Profilet, 1996), Vineland ABS (Sparrow, Balla & Cicchetti, 1984) and a demographic questionnaire. Following the each play session, the Pictorial Scale of Perceived Competence and Social Acceptance for Young Children (PSPCSA; Harter & Pike, 1984) was completed by both the deaf and hearing child. In spite of small sample sizes, findings suggest that children with cochlear implants do not differ from hearing children on any self-perception scales. Children with cochlear implants who perceive themselves in a generally positive manner were found to interact more, have more verbal exchanges, and initiate more new topics when engaged in a social relationship with a hearing peer. Regression analyses determined gender to be a significant predictor of self-perception and peer acceptance among deaf children with cochlear implants. Females tended to feel more accepted by peers and perceived themselves more positively than did males. Gender and hearing status were found to have interacted significantly to predict a child's overall self-perception.

Subject Area


Recommended Citation

Stein, Janna R, "The social -emotional impact of cochlear implants on children" (2007). ETD Collection for Pace University. AAI3282700.



Remote User: Click Here to Login (must have Pace University remote login ID and password. Once logged in, click on the View More link above)