Effect of Speaker Age on Speech Recognition and Perceived Listening Effort in Older Adults With Hearing Loss PurposeOlder adults exhibit difficulty understanding speech that has been experimentally degraded. Age-related changes to the speech mechanism lead to natural degradations in signal quality. We tested the hypothesis that older adults with hearing loss would exhibit declines in speech recognition when listening to the speech of older adults, compared with ... Article
Article  |   June 01, 2012
Effect of Speaker Age on Speech Recognition and Perceived Listening Effort in Older Adults With Hearing Loss
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Megan J. McAuliffe
    University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand
  • Phillipa J. Wilding
    University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand
  • Natalie A. Rickard
    University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand
  • Greg A. O'Beirne
    University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand
  • Correspondence to Megan J. McAuliffe: megan.mcauliffe@canterbury.ac.nz
  • Editor: Sid Bacon
    Editor: Sid Bacon×
  • Associate Editor: Pam Souza
    Associate Editor: Pam Souza×
Article Information
Hearing
Article   |   June 01, 2012
Effect of Speaker Age on Speech Recognition and Perceived Listening Effort in Older Adults With Hearing Loss
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 2012, Vol. 55, 838-847. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2011/11-0101)
History: Received April 26, 2011 , Revised September 8, 2011 , Accepted October 10, 2011
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 2012, Vol. 55, 838-847. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2011/11-0101)
History: Received April 26, 2011; Revised September 8, 2011; Accepted October 10, 2011
Web of Science® Times Cited: 5

PurposeOlder adults exhibit difficulty understanding speech that has been experimentally degraded. Age-related changes to the speech mechanism lead to natural degradations in signal quality. We tested the hypothesis that older adults with hearing loss would exhibit declines in speech recognition when listening to the speech of older adults, compared with the speech of younger adults, and would report greater amounts of listening effort in this task.

MethodNineteen individuals with age-related hearing loss completed speech recognition and listening effort scaling tasks. Both were conducted in quiet, when listening to high- and low-predictability phrases produced by younger and older speakers, respectively.

ResultsNo significant difference in speech recognition existed when stimuli were derived from younger or older speakers. However, perceived effort was significantly higher when listening to speech from older adults, as compared with younger adults.

ConclusionsFor older individuals with hearing loss, natural degradations in signal quality may require greater listening effort. However, they do not interfere with speech recognition—at least in quiet. Follow-up investigation of the effect of speaker age on speech recognition and listening effort under more challenging noise conditions appears warranted.

Order a Subscription
Pay Per View
Entire Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research content & archive
24-hour access
This Article
24-hour access