Grammatical Outcomes of 3- and 6-Year-Old Children Who Are Hard of Hearing PurposeSpoken language skills of 3- and 6-year-old children who are hard of hearing (HH) were compared with those of children with normal hearing (NH).MethodLanguage skills were measured via mean length of utterance in words (MLUw) and percent correct use of finite verb morphology in obligatory contexts based on spontaneous conversational ... Article
Article  |   October 01, 2013
Grammatical Outcomes of 3- and 6-Year-Old Children Who Are Hard of Hearing
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Keegan M. Koehlinger
    University of Iowa, Iowa City
  • Amanda J. Owen Van Horne
    University of Iowa, Iowa City
  • Mary Pat Moeller
    Center for Childhood Deafness, Boys Town National Research Hospital, Omaha, NE
  • Correspondence to Amanda Owen Van Horne: amanda-owen-vanhorne@uiowa.edu
  • Keegan M. Koehlinger is now affiliated with Center for Childhood Deafness, Boys Town National Research Hospital, Omaha, NE
    Keegan M. Koehlinger is now affiliated with Center for Childhood Deafness, Boys Town National Research Hospital, Omaha, NE×
  • Editor and Associate Editor: Janna Oetting
    Editor and Associate Editor: Janna Oetting×
Article Information
Development / Hearing & Speech Perception / Hearing Disorders / Audiologic / Aural Rehabilitation / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Language
Article   |   October 01, 2013
Grammatical Outcomes of 3- and 6-Year-Old Children Who Are Hard of Hearing
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, October 2013, Vol. 56, 1701-1714. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2013/12-0188)
History: Received June 19, 2012 , Revised November 16, 2012 , Accepted February 22, 2013
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, October 2013, Vol. 56, 1701-1714. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2013/12-0188)
History: Received June 19, 2012; Revised November 16, 2012; Accepted February 22, 2013
Web of Science® Times Cited: 11

PurposeSpoken language skills of 3- and 6-year-old children who are hard of hearing (HH) were compared with those of children with normal hearing (NH).

MethodLanguage skills were measured via mean length of utterance in words (MLUw) and percent correct use of finite verb morphology in obligatory contexts based on spontaneous conversational samples gathered from 185 children (145 HH, 40 NH). Aided speech intelligibility index (SII), better-ear pure-tone average (BE-PTA), maternal education, and age of amplification were used to predict outcomes within the HH group.

ResultsOn average, the HH group had MLUws that were 0.25–0.5 words shorter than the NH group at both ages, and they produced fewer obligatory verb morphemes. After age, aided SII and age of amplification predicted MLUw. Aided SII and BE-PTA were not interchangeable in this analysis. Age followed by either BE-PTA or aided SII best predicted verb morphology use.

ConclusionsChildren who are HH lag behind their peers with NH in grammatical aspects of language. Although some children appear to catch up, more than half of the children who are HH fell below the 25th percentile. Continued monitoring of language outcomes is warranted considering that children who are HH are at increased risk for language learning difficulties.

Acknowledgments
This work was supported by National Institutes of Health Grants NIH/NIDCD 5 ROI DC009560-03 (co-principal investigators, J. Bruce Tomblin, University of Iowa, Iowa City, and Mary Pat Moeller, Boys Town National Research Hospital, Omaha, NE). Additional funding was awarded to Amanda Owen Van Horne for the support of Keegan M. Koehlinger by the Iowa Center for Research by Undergraduates Fellows program at the University of Iowa, Iowa City. Portions of this article were submitted as the first author's undergraduate honors thesis and presented at a preconference at the Society for Research in Child Development Biennial Meeting in Montreal, Canada, on March 30, 2011, and the Symposium on Research in Child Language Disorders in Madison, WI, on June 10, 2011. The following people provided support or assistance at various points in the project: J. Bruce Tomblin provided support and input throughout the project. Jacob Oleson consulted on the statistical analyses. Kristen Adrian transcribed language samples and participated in establishing reliability. Rick Arenas managed the database, and Shan-ju Lin, Gwyneth Rost, and staff members of the Grammar Acquisition Lab at the University of Iowa provided comments and feedback. The sections of the article on SII and other hearing measures were informed by comments and feedback from Beth Walker, Ruth Bentler, Ryan McCreery, and James Lewis. Ryan McCreery created the graph for this article and provided substantial input on SII and PTA. Sophie Ambrose provided editorial support. Special thanks go to the examiners at the University of Iowa, Boys Town National Research Hospital, and University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill, and the families and children who participated in the research.
Order a Subscription
Pay Per View
Entire Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research content & archive
24-hour access
This Article
24-hour access