Cochlear implants in children: A study of parental stress and adjustment

A. L. Quittner, J. T. Steck, R. L. Rouiller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

67 Scopus citations


A contextual model of stress was employed to examine the impact of cochlear implantation on parents' levels of stress and psychological adjustment. This model provided a framework for identifying stressors tied directly to the situation, and pointed to important life roles that may be altered. Twenty-four mothers of children implanted with cochlear implants completed a series of questionnaires assessing stressors related to daily parenting tasks, time demands, and childhood deafness. Standardized measures of depression, anxiety, and somatic complaints were also administered. The results provided preliminary evidence that parents of children receiving cochlear implants experience higher levels of stress and poorer psychological adjustment than parents of normally hearing children. Greater parenting stress and emotional distress were reported by parents of children using multichannel as opposed to single-channel devices, with little evidence that this was related strongly to length of time using the devices. Finally, in analyses controlling for type of device and length of use, parenting stress as measured in the current study, accounted for substantial proportions of the variance in psychological distress. The implications of these findings, as well as directions for future research, are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)95-104
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Journal of Otology
Issue numberSUPPL.
StatePublished - 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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