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Psychosocial Status of Children with Auditory Processing Disorder

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Children with hearing loss often exhibit reduced psychosocial status compared to children with normal hearing. It is reasonable to assume that psychosocial function may also be affected in children diagnosed with auditory processing disorder (APD). However, there are no published studies specifically addressing the psychosocial health of children with APD.


This investigation examined relationships between APD and psychosocial status, with an aim to examine nonauditory factors that may influence quality of life of children diagnosed with APD.

Research Design:

A two-matched group design was employed. Participants and their mothers completed appropriate versions of the Dartmouth Primary Care Cooperative Information Project Charts for Adolescents (COOP-A), the Behavioral Assessment System for Children, Second Edition (BASC-2), and the Social Skills Rating System (SSRS).

Study Sample:

Participants consisted of 19 children (aged 9.5‐17.8 yr; mean = 11.9) diagnosed with APD and 20 gender- and age-matched (mean = 12.8 yr) children with no evidence of APD by history or audiological assessment. Primary caretakers (mothers) of the participants also completed psychosocial questionnaires according to their perception of their participating child's function.

Data Collection and Analysis:

Data were collected at a single visit, following APD diagnosis. Data from each questionnaire were analyzed using appropriate statistical methods for two-group comparisons.


Analysis of child reports revealed significantly greater psychosocial difficulty in the APD group on subscales of the COOP-A and BASC-2. Increased problems in the APD group were also reported by parents on subscales of the COOP-A, BASC-2, and SSRS. Eta-squared values for all significant findings indicated moderate to large effect sizes, suggesting findings may be generalized to other children in this age group. No between-group differences were found on any subscale for APD children with or without a confirmed or suspected language disorder.


We found that children with APD exhibit increased psychosocial difficulty in several areas compared to children without APD.
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Keywords: Age effects, auditory processing disorder; Behavioral Assessment System for Children, Second Edition; Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamentals, Fourth Edition; Dartmouth Primary Care Cooperative Information Project Charts for Adolescents; Social Skills Rating System; psychosocial status

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Audiology, Speech-Language Pathology and Deaf Studies, Towson University, Towson, MD 2: Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center 3: Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences, University of Florida

Publication date: March 1, 2012

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