Perception of Voicing Cues by Children With Early Otitis Media With and Without Language Impairment Research on the relationship between early otitis media with effusion (OME), language impairment, and central auditory processing has been equivocal. Identification and discrimination tasks provide us with a sensitive method of assessing speech perception on both an auditory and a phonetic level. The present study examined identification and discrimination of ... Research Article
Research Article  |   February 01, 1996
Perception of Voicing Cues by Children With Early Otitis Media With and Without Language Impairment
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Paul Groenen
    University Hospital Nijmegen Department of Otorhinolaryngology/Child Neurology Center Institute of Medical Psychology Nijmegen, the Netherlands
  • Thom Crul
    University Hospital Nijmegen Department of Otorhinolaryngology Institute of Medical Psychology Nijmegen, the Netherlands
  • Ben Maassen
    University Hospital Nijmegen Child Neurology Center Institute of Medical Psychology Nijmegen, the Netherlands
  • Wim van Bon
    University of Nijmegen Department of Special Education Nijmegen, the Netherlands
  • Contact author: Paul Groenen, PhD, University Hospital Nijmegan, Dept. of Otorhinolaryngology, Centre for Child Audiology, P.O. Box 9101, 6500 HB Nijmegan, The Netherlands. E-mail: kno_pg@aznvx1.azn.nl
Article Information
Hearing Disorders / Language Disorders / Hearing / Research Articles
Research Article   |   February 01, 1996
Perception of Voicing Cues by Children With Early Otitis Media With and Without Language Impairment
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, February 1996, Vol. 39, 43-54. doi:10.1044/jshr.3901.43
History: Received August 29, 1994 , Accepted September 28, 1995
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, February 1996, Vol. 39, 43-54. doi:10.1044/jshr.3901.43
History: Received August 29, 1994; Accepted September 28, 1995

Research on the relationship between early otitis media with effusion (OME), language impairment, and central auditory processing has been equivocal. Identification and discrimination tasks provide us with a sensitive method of assessing speech perception on both an auditory and a phonetic level. The present study examined identification and discrimination of initial bilabial stop consonants differing in voicing by 9-year-old children with a history of severe OME. The groups studied were controlled for language impairment. The ability of these children to perceive major and minor voicing cues was examined using multiple voicing cues. Long-term effects of OME were found for both identification and discrimination performance. Children with OME produced an overall inconsistency in categorization, which suggests poorer phonetic processing. Discrimination was measured by means of “just noticeable differences” (JND). Children with early OME experience demonstrated a greater mean JND than children without early OME experience. Finally, in cases of language impairment with early OME, there was no additional deterioration of auditory or phonetic processing. It appears that either early OME or language impairment can lead to poorer perception.

Acknowledgments
The Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO) is gratefully acknowledged for funding this project. This research was conducted while Paul Groenen was supported by a PSYCHON-grant of this organization (560-256-047), awarded to Dr. Ben Maas-sen and Dr. Thorn Crul. We would also like to thank Esmeralda Brunia for her cooperation in testing the children, Eefje Grievink and Sylvia Peters for providing the data concerning the language skills of the children, and Anne Schilder for providing the otologic data. Finally, we want to thank all the children and teachers of over 35 schools in the region of Nijmegen who participated in this study.
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