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Longitudinal study on change in the well-being of young people with hearing loss

Background and aims

How are young people with hearing loss doing today who were previously schooled in integrated (inclusion) classrooms? How have they developed in terms of their emotional well-being and susceptibility to stress?

Existing studies show that children and adolescents with hearing loss who had inclusion schooling have a 2.4 to 3.7 times higher risk of developing mental health problems than their hearing peers. The children and adolescents who had inclusion schooling show differences mainly regarding stress, fatigue, and depressive moods. The older the children are, the more that they have internalizing problems: “Internalizing problems such as being anxious and depressed were found more often in older than younger deaf children” (Knoors & Marschark, 2014, p. 148).

This research project addresses the question as to how young people with hearing loss and their hearing peers experience their everyday lives, how they feel, and to what extent negative emotions, for example, appear with increasing age. The project is a continuation of three previous projects at the University of Applied Sciences of Special Needs Education (HfH) on the well-being of children and adolescents with hearing loss who experienced inclusion schooling (Projects 4_4, 4_4.1, 4_4.2) and will result in the first longitudinal study worldwide of various aspects of the current and habitual mental health of people with hearing loss prior to adulthood.

The results of the previous part-studies show that children, adolescents, and adults with and without hearing loss do not differ in their average well-being; there are (as yet) no significant differences in their development of well-being—but there are indications in the last data collection that in their further development there could be higher negative activation (stress, etc.).


This longitudinal study was begun more than 10 years ago with children with hearing loss and without hearing loss from 11 to 13 years old. These same students were surveyed on their well-being again every 3 years using the same method. Now they will be surveyed again at age 21 to 23. The aim is to investigate what factors promote or hinder positive development (type of schooling, quality of life, participation experience, etc.).

Because the first data collection was more than 10 years ago and there have since been changes in inclusion schooling and also in hearing aid provision, a second cohort of children aged 11 to 13 years will be started.


In this study, we will use the same data collection instruments as in the preliminary projects. At the heart is the Experience Sampling Method (Hektner, Schmidt, & Csikszentmihalyi, 2007): The participants are given an iPhone for a week; five times a day for 7 days they will receive a text message with an Internet-based questionnaire. The already existing instrument (PANAVA-KS: Scales for Assessing Positive/Negative Activation and Valence in Experience Sampling Studies; Schallberger, 2005; setting conditions such as sound volume, social setting, activities, day, and time of day) will be complemented by questions on age-appropriate activities and one question on momentary communication and participation experience.

Further aspects will be measured once (Kid-KINDL, Ravens-Sieberer, 2000; SDQ, Goodman, 1997; WHOQOL-BREF, Angermeyer et al., 2000; socio-economic data).



Project Management

Dr. phil.  Audeoud


Project team

Financial support


Forschung und Entwicklung
Tel: +41 44 317 11 81

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