Cultural and Demographic Factors Influencing Noise Exposure Estimates From Use of Portable Listening Devices in an Urban Environment Purpose This study examined listening levels and duration of portable listening devices (PLDs) used by people with diversity of ethnicity, education, music genre, and PLD manufacturer. The goal was to estimate participants’ PLD noise exposure and identify factors influencing user behavior. Method This study measured listening levels of 160 ... Research Article
Research Article  |   August 01, 2014
Cultural and Demographic Factors Influencing Noise Exposure Estimates From Use of Portable Listening Devices in an Urban Environment
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Brian J. Fligor
    Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA
  • Sandra Levey
    Lehman College, City University of New York, Bronx, NY
  • Tania Levey
    York College, City University of New York, Jamaica, NY
  • Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.
    Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.×
  • Correspondence to Brian J. Fligor: brian.fligor@gmail.com
  • Editor: Craig Champlin
    Editor: Craig Champlin×
  • Associate Editor: Marjorie Leek
    Associate Editor: Marjorie Leek×
Article Information
Hearing Disorders / Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / Hearing / Research Articles
Research Article   |   August 01, 2014
Cultural and Demographic Factors Influencing Noise Exposure Estimates From Use of Portable Listening Devices in an Urban Environment
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 2014, Vol. 57, 1535-1547. doi:10.1044/2014_JSLHR-H-12-0420
History: Received December 31, 2012 , Revised June 10, 2013 , Accepted January 1, 2014
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 2014, Vol. 57, 1535-1547. doi:10.1044/2014_JSLHR-H-12-0420
History: Received December 31, 2012; Revised June 10, 2013; Accepted January 1, 2014
Web of Science® Times Cited: 2

Purpose This study examined listening levels and duration of portable listening devices (PLDs) used by people with diversity of ethnicity, education, music genre, and PLD manufacturer. The goal was to estimate participants’ PLD noise exposure and identify factors influencing user behavior.

Method This study measured listening levels of 160 adults in 2 New York City locations: (a) a quiet college campus and (b) Union Square, a busy interchange. Participants completed a questionnaire regarding demographics and PLD use. Ordinary least squares regression was used to explore the significance of demographic and behavioral factors.

Results Average listening level was 94.1 dBA, with 99 of 160 (61.9%) and 92 of 159 (57.5%) exceeding daily (L A8hn) and weekly (L Awkn) recommended exposure limit, respectively. African American participants listened at the highest average levels (99.8 dBA).

Conclusions A majority of PLD users exceeded recommended exposure levels. Factors significant for higher exposure were ethnicity and age; factors not significantly associated with exposure were gender, education, location, awareness of possible association between PLD use and noise-induced hearing loss, mode of transportation, device manufacturer, and music genre. Efforts to effect behavior changes to lessen noise-induced hearing loss risk from PLD use should be sensitive to the cultural differences within the targeted population.

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