The aim of this study is to determine if the hearing loss influences the level of psychological distress and symptoms among deaf adolescents by examining the difference between deaf adolescents and their peers who have normal hearing. 36 deaf and 36 adolescents with normal hearing participated in the study. The two groups were assessed by means of The Trauma Symptom Checklist and the Non-verbal Scale of Suffering. To test the relevance of the differences between the experimental group and the control group we applied the Mann Whitney U-test. The results showed no statistically relevant differences between expressed symptoms of the two groups. The same level of emotional distress (suffering) was observed among both groups of adolescents; anxiety was positively linked to depressive feelings, feelings of sadness and sexual concerns, although it had no relation to emotional suffering. The demographic variables (age, sex and socioeconomic status) were not related to the level of symptoms. On the basis of the obtained results and analyses, we may conclude that deaf adolescents did not demonstrate characteristics of lower level adaptation. The interpretations of the results have taken into account the theoretical assumptions and previous research of other authors.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.