Fine-Grained Auditory Discrimination Factor Structures Research Article
Research Article  |   April 01, 1993
Fine-Grained Auditory Discrimination
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Lois L. Elliott
    Northwestern University Evanston, IL
  • Michael A. Hammer
    Northwestern University Evanston, IL
  • Contact author: Lois L. Elliott, PhD, Northwestern University, Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Frances Searle Building, 2299 North Campus Road, Evanston, IL 60208- 3550.
Article Information
Development / Hearing & Speech Perception / School-Based Settings / Hearing / Research Articles
Research Article   |   April 01, 1993
Fine-Grained Auditory Discrimination
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 1993, Vol. 36, 396-409. doi:10.1044/jshr.3602.396
History: Received March 30, 1992 , Accepted September 21, 1992
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 1993, Vol. 36, 396-409. doi:10.1044/jshr.3602.396
History: Received March 30, 1992; Accepted September 21, 1992

This research tested the hypothesis that as children's language development matures, factor-analytic structural changes occur that are associated with measurements of fine-grained auditory discrimination, receptive vocabulary, receptive language, speech production, and three performance subtests of the WISC-R. Among 6- to 7-year-old children, the percent of total variance attributed to the factor defined by fine-grained auditory discrimination measures was approximately 43% for children who were intellectually impaired (Experiment 2), 27% for youngsters who had language-learning problems, and 16% for regularly progressing children (Experiment 1). The WISC-R subtest scores, generally, did not load on the auditory discrimination factor. The difference in variance explained by the auditory discrimination factor was interpreted as representing greater relative importance of auditory discrimination among children with less-well-developed language competencies than among children with more mature language skills. This interpretation was strengthened by the finding of no distinct auditory discrimination factor for 8- to 11-year-old children who were either regularly progressing or language-disabled even though the language/speech factor at this age closely resembled that found among younger children. Results were consonant with Ackerman ’s (1987) model, suggesting that task-specific variance associated with tasks that remain resource-dependent may diminish after practice and experience.

Acknowledgments
This research was supported, in part, by a grant from NIDCD (NIH). Special appreciation is expressed to the children who participated, their parents, and to teachers as well as administrators of the Waukegan School District. Thanks are given to Lu Ann Busse, Robert DeGraaff, Margo Scholl, Karin Evan, Bonnie Anthony, Bonnie Blamick Siu, Jennifer Rupert, Randy Partridge, and Kathleen Woods who assisted with data collection and analyses during different periods of the project, to Jan Wasowicz for assistance with stimulus design and creation, and to Celia Halperin for outstanding secretarial assistance.
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