Acta Scientific Medical Sciences (ISSN: 2582-0931)

Research Article Volume 4 Issue 2

Empathy, Motor and Psychosocial Development in A Sample of Greek Elementary School Students with and Without Deafness/ Hard of Hearing: Application of the Theory of Mind

Tsifopanopoulou Zoe and Skordilis Emmanouil

National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, School of Physical Education and Sport Science, Greece, Balkans

*Corresponding Author: Tsifopanopoulou Zoe, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, School of Physical Education and Sport Science, Greece, Balkans.

Received: January 06, 2020; Published: January 10, 2020



  Children with deafness/ hard of hearing (D/HH) have a number of limitations in key aspects of their psychosocial development, resulting in delayed receive of social and emotional stimuli [1]. Empathy is considered important for the development of social behavior and the relationships that children develop among them. Deficits in empathy can play a critical role in the development of openness and may lead to the establishment of additional behavioral problems. Therefore, D/HH children tend to develop empathic abilities lower than their hearing peers, with adverse effect on the initiation and maintenance of social relationships, and their psychosocial development in general. Further, children with D/HH experience restrictions in motor development, especially in gross motor and balance skills [2]. Interventions designed to address these restrictions may start as early as possible in order to have more scope for development [3].

  The present study was designed to evaluate holistically the motor and psychosocial development, empathy and Theory of Mind (ToM) in students with and without D/HH. The total sample consisted from 27 students with D/HH and 31 students with no disabilities who served as controls. Both groups were reqruited from schools in the wider area of Attica/Athens. More specifically, the following assessments were conducted: a) motor development, empathy, ToM and teacher reports on strengths and difficulties the students possess. The goal was to determine the relationships among the above assessments and the differences between students with and without D/HH. The statistical analyses revealed that the students with D/HH had lower scores in motor development, empathy and ToM. In contrast, there were no differences between the two groups regarding the strength and difficulties they experienced. Finally, the assessments were all related significantly with each other, while empathy and ToM scores predicted the motor development of the students with and without D/HH. The findings are discussed with respect to the Theory of Mind.

Keywords: Deaf-Hard of Hearing (D/HH); Motor and Psychosocial Development; Empathy; Theory of Mind (Tom)



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Citation: Tsifopanopoulou Zoe and Skordilis Emmanouil. “Empathy, Motor and Psychosocial Development in A Sample of Greek Elementary School Students with and Without Deafness/ Hard of Hearing: Application of the Theory of Mind". Acta Scientific Medical Sciences 4.2 (2020): 86-97.


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