Age-Related and Gender-Related Changes in Monaural Speech Recognition Previous studies of older listeners suggest age-related declines in speech recognition. However, the interpretation of these results is not straightforward because auditory thresholds, which account for the largest proportion of the variance in speech-recognition scores, also vary considerably with age. Here, effects of age, gender, and auditory thresholds on several ... Research Article
Research Article  |   April 01, 1997
Age-Related and Gender-Related Changes in Monaural Speech Recognition
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Judy R. Dubno
    Department of Otolaryngology and Communicative Sciences Medical University of South Carolina Charleston
  • Fu-Shing Lee
    Department of Otolaryngology and Communicative Sciences Medical University of South Carolina Charleston
  • Lois J. Matthews
    Department of Otolaryngology and Communicative Sciences Medical University of South Carolina Charleston
  • John H. Mills
    Department of Otolaryngology and Communicative Sciences Medical University of South Carolina Charleston
  • Corresponding author: e-mail: dubnojr@musc.edu
Article Information
Hearing & Speech Perception / Hearing / Research Articles
Research Article   |   April 01, 1997
Age-Related and Gender-Related Changes in Monaural Speech Recognition
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 1997, Vol. 40, 444-452. doi:10.1044/jslhr.4002.444
History: Received May 30, 1996 , Accepted December 2, 1996
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 1997, Vol. 40, 444-452. doi:10.1044/jslhr.4002.444
History: Received May 30, 1996; Accepted December 2, 1996

Previous studies of older listeners suggest age-related declines in speech recognition. However, the interpretation of these results is not straightforward because auditory thresholds, which account for the largest proportion of the variance in speech-recognition scores, also vary considerably with age. Here, effects of age, gender, and auditory thresholds on several measures of speech recognition were assessed for a large sample of individuals enrolled in a longitudinal study of agerelated hearing loss. Participants ranged in age from 55–84 years. They were evaluated with a battery of conventional audiometric measures and speechrecognition materials, including NU-6 monosyllabic words, Synthetic Sentence Identification sentences, and high-context and low-context sentences from the Speech Perception in Noise test. Two analyses were conducted to assure that changes in speech-recognition scores with age were examined independently of age-related changes in auditory thresholds. In the first analysis, no significant differences in speech recognition were observed for individuals in three age groups (55–64, 65–74, 75–84 years) who were selected so that average puretone thresholds for the groups were within 5 dB. In the second analysis, using partial correlations to adjust both score and age for their association with average thresholds, significant declines with age were observed for males in maximum word recognition, maximum synthetic sentence identification, and keyword recognition in high-context sentences. For females, no significant changes in speech recognition with age were observed for any test.

Acknowledgments
This work was supported (in part) by research grant numbers P01 DC 00422 and R01 DC 00184 from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders and the Office of Research on Women's Health, National Institutes of Health. The authors wish to thank Jayne B. Ahlstrom, Sarah Hargus, Amy R. Horwitz, Dawn R. Konrad, and Elizabeth A. Poth for editorial comments and assistance with data collection.
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