Date of Award

Spring 5-2021

Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program

Applied Biopsychology



Major Professor

Elliott Beaton

Second Advisor

Tracey Knaus

Third Advisor

Christopher Harshaw

Fourth Advisor

Carolyn White


Studies of geriatric, profoundly deaf, and syndromic hearing-loss populations demonstrate significant negative consequences of hearing loss including poorer cognitive function, difficulties in social interactions, and increased risk of psychiatric disorders that compromise quality of life. To date, there are several empirical studies that have assessed the long-term effects of hearing loss on physiological, psychological, and socioemotional problems in children with chromosome 22q11.2DS. We measured different types of hearing loss in relation to attention, affective symptomology, physiological markers of stress, listening abilities, and balance in 22q11.2DS. Results revealed that children with 22q11.2DS have greater hearing loss in all frequencies and lower dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) compared to controls. Hearing loss in all frequencies increases auditory attention but lowers executive attention. High frequency hearing loss (HFHL) has a negative impact on hearing acuity while speech window hearing loss (SWHL) increases audio-visual integration and sound discrimination. Children with chronic sinus infections or cleft palate are more likely to be at-risk for auditory attention problems. Hearing loss did not affect externalizing problems, but it negatively affected depression and withdrawal and increased social skills. Mild hearing loss within the speech window and high frequencies tend to have the greatest negative effect on internalizing disorders. Future directions should investigate why children with 22q11.2DS and hearing loss appear to have better social skills and auditory attention but have poorer executive attention. Vestibular balance could not be maintained when eyes were open or closed, so more investigation is needed to determine the effects of hearing loss on visual and proprioception systems.


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