Vocabulary Facilitates Speech Perception in Children With Hearing Aids Purpose We examined the effects of vocabulary, lexical characteristics (age of acquisition and phonotactic probability), and auditory access (aided audibility and daily hearing aid [HA] use) on speech perception skills in children with HAs. Method Participants included 24 children with HAs and 25 children with normal hearing (NH), ... Research Article
Research Article  |   August 16, 2017
Vocabulary Facilitates Speech Perception in Children With Hearing Aids
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Kelsey E. Klein
    Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, University of Iowa, Iowa City
  • Elizabeth A. Walker
    Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, University of Iowa, Iowa City
  • Benjamin Kirby
    Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Illinois State University, Normal
  • Ryan W. McCreery
    Department of Audiology, Boys Town National Research Hospital, Omaha, NE
  • 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 Kelsey E. Klein: kelsey-e-klein@uiowa.edu
  • Editor: Frederick Gallun
    Editor: Frederick Gallun×
  • Associate Editor: Amy Lederberg
    Associate Editor: Amy Lederberg×
Article Information
Hearing / Research Articles
Research Article   |   August 16, 2017
Vocabulary Facilitates Speech Perception in Children With Hearing Aids
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 2017, Vol. 60, 2281-2296. doi:10.1044/2017_JSLHR-H-16-0086
History: Received March 3, 2016 , Revised September 3, 2016 , Accepted February 4, 2017
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 2017, Vol. 60, 2281-2296. doi:10.1044/2017_JSLHR-H-16-0086
History: Received March 3, 2016; Revised September 3, 2016; Accepted February 4, 2017

Purpose We examined the effects of vocabulary, lexical characteristics (age of acquisition and phonotactic probability), and auditory access (aided audibility and daily hearing aid [HA] use) on speech perception skills in children with HAs.

Method Participants included 24 children with HAs and 25 children with normal hearing (NH), ages 5–12 years. Groups were matched on age, expressive and receptive vocabulary, articulation, and nonverbal working memory. Participants repeated monosyllabic words and nonwords in noise. Stimuli varied on age of acquisition, lexical frequency, and phonotactic probability. Performance in each condition was measured by the signal-to-noise ratio at which the child could accurately repeat 50% of the stimuli.

Results Children from both groups with larger vocabularies showed better performance than children with smaller vocabularies on nonwords and late-acquired words but not early-acquired words. Overall, children with HAs showed poorer performance than children with NH. Auditory access was not associated with speech perception for the children with HAs.

Conclusions Children with HAs show deficits in sensitivity to phonological structure but appear to take advantage of vocabulary skills to support speech perception in the same way as children with NH. Further investigation is needed to understand the causes of the gap that exists between the overall speech perception abilities of children with HAs and children with NH.

Acknowledgments
This work was supported by the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders Grant 5R01DC013591-02 (awarded to principal investigator, Ryan W. McCreery, Boys Town National Research Hospital), Grant T35 DC008757 (awarded to principal investigator, Michelle Hughes, Boys Town National Research Hospital), and Grant P30 DC004662 (awarded to principal investigator, Michael Gorga, Boys Town National Research Hospital). The content of this project is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders or the National Institutes of Health. Portions of this article were presented at the Sixth Annual Midwest Conference on Cochlear Implants and the 43rd Annual Scientific and Technology Conference of the American Auditory Society. The authors thank Meredith Spratford, Marc Brennan, and Judy Kopun for help with study design and data collection, as well as Jacob Oleson for his input regarding statistical analyses. Special thanks go to the children and their families who participated in the research.
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