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Physical Activity, Sports Participation, and Psychosocial Health in Adolescents With Hearing Loss

      Abstract

      Purpose

      This study examined the association between hearing status (i.e., adolescents with and without hearing loss) and physical activity and sports participation. Secondarily, we explored the association between physical activity and sports participation and psychosocial outcomes among adolescents with hearing loss.

      Methods

      Analyses included 29,034 adolescents (52.1% male, 13.8 ± 2.3 (M ± SD) years) from the combined 2018–2019 National Survey of Children's Health. Adolescents were grouped by hearing status. Adjusted logistic regression models assessed physical activity level (i.e., 0, 1–3, 4–6, and 7 days/week) and sports participation (i.e., participation in sports within the past 12 months) by hearing status. Secondary analyses examined associations between physical activity and sports participation with psychosocial outcomes among adolescents with hearing loss adjusting for relevant confounders.

      Results

      Relative to their hearing peers, adolescents with hearing loss (n = 359) were 40% [adjusted odds ratio (AOR), 0.60; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.44, 0.81], 43% [AOR, 0.57; 95% CI, 0.41, 0.80], and 33% [AOR, 0.67; 95% CI, 0.47, 0.95] less likely to engage in 1–3 days/week of physical activity, 4–6 days/week of physical activity, and meet physical activity guidelines, respectively. Further, adolescents with hearing loss were 31% [AOR, 0.69; 95% CI, 0.55, 0.85] less likely to participate in sports. Sports participation, but not physical activity, was associated with a significant reduction in the likelihood of experiencing adverse psychosocial outcomes among adolescents with hearing loss (p's < .05).

      Discussion

      Sports participation, but not physical activity, was associated with attenuated likelihood of experiencing adverse psychosocial outcomes in adolescents with hearing loss, suggesting unique characteristics of sports participation confer protection of psychosocial health. Increasing access to and reducing barriers to engagement in sports should be prioritized to improve psychosocial health in adolescents with hearing loss.

      Keywords

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