Majorano, M., Maes, M., Morelli, M., Bastianello, T., Guerzoni, L., Murri, A., & Cuda, D. (2018). Socio-emotional adjustment of adolescents with cochlear implants: Loneliness, emotional autonomy, self-concept, and emotional experience at the hospital. Journal of Child Health Care, 22, 359-370. doi: 10.1177/1367493518757065
Abstract. Recent studies have reported contrasting results in the socio-emotional adjustment of Italian adolescents with cochlear implants (CIs). The aim of the present study is to explore the relationship between the socio-emotional adjustment of adolescents with CIs, the quality of their hospital stay, and their age at CI activation. The participants were 29 adolescents with CIs (CI group) and 29 typically developing adolescents (TD group). The Emotional Autonomy Scale, the Loneliness and Aloneness Scale for Children and Adolescents, and the Multidimensional Self-Concept Scale were administered to each participant. The emotional experience reported during the hospital stay was considered for each participant in the CI group. The adolescents with CIs displayed significantly higher levels of loneliness and lower levels of aversion toward aloneness than the TD group participants. Adolescents who had received the CI in preschool displayed a higher level of physical self-concept than adolescents who had received it later. The adolescents’ emotional experiences at the hospital were reported to be quite complex and related to their relationships with parents. In summary, the findings point to a specific type of fragility in socio-emotional adjustment—focused on loneliness/aloneness—rather than a general one.