Speech Perception and Verbal Memory in Children With and Without Histories of Otitis Media Two groups of children, with (n=7) and without (n=7) first-year histories of otitis media, were participants in a longitudinal study that included periodic audiological and medical evaluations during the first year of life. At age 9, these children were tested on a series of speech perception and verbal short-term memory ... Research Article
Research Article  |   October 01, 1999
Speech Perception and Verbal Memory in Children With and Without Histories of Otitis Media
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Maria Mody
    Albert Einstein College of Medicine New York, NY
  • Richard G. Schwartz
    Albert Einstein College of Medicine New York, NY
  • Judith S. Gravel
    Albert Einstein College of Medicine New York, NY
  • Robert J. Ruben
    Albert Einstein College of Medicine New York, NY
  • Corresponding author: e-mail: mody@balrog.aecom.yu.edu
  • Currently affiliated with City University of New York
    Currently affiliated with City University of New York×
Article Information
Hearing & Speech Perception / Hearing Disorders / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Hearing / Research Articles
Research Article   |   October 01, 1999
Speech Perception and Verbal Memory in Children With and Without Histories of Otitis Media
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, October 1999, Vol. 42, 1069-1079. doi:10.1044/jslhr.4205.1069
History: Received October 29, 1998 , Accepted April 9, 1999
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, October 1999, Vol. 42, 1069-1079. doi:10.1044/jslhr.4205.1069
History: Received October 29, 1998; Accepted April 9, 1999

Two groups of children, with (n=7) and without (n=7) first-year histories of otitis media, were participants in a longitudinal study that included periodic audiological and medical evaluations during the first year of life. At age 9, these children were tested on a series of speech perception and verbal short-term memory tasks using stimuli of varying degrees of phonetic contrast. Although the otitis-positive group performed less accurately than the otitis-free group, the pattern of errors was the same for the two groups. The performances of the children with and without positive histories of otitis media were negatively affected by an increase in phonetic similarity of the stimulus items. The two groups, however, did not differ on identification or on temporal-order recall when the speech sounds were differentiated by multiple features. These findings provide evidence of subtle, long-term effects of early episodes of otitis media on phonological representations and on working memory.

Acknowledgments
This research was supported by Grant # DC-00223 from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders to the Clinical Research Center for Communicative Disorders at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University. The authors are deeply grateful to Ina Wallace for valuable comments, to Martha-Anne Ellis and Wei-Wei Lee for the audiological evaluations on the day of testing, to the LIFE program at the Kennedy Center for the medical histories and background information on all the subjects, to Loretta Garin for scheduling the visits, and to the children and their parents for their cheerful willingness to participate in yet another study.
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