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ERIC Number: EJ1158344
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Oct
Pages: 10
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1092-4388
Age-Related Changes in Objective and Subjective Speech Perception in Complex Listening Environments
Helfer, Karen S.; Merchant, Gabrielle R.; Wasiuk, Peter A.
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, v60 n10 p3009-3018 Oct 2017
Purpose: A frequent complaint by older adults is difficulty communicating in challenging acoustic environments. The purpose of this work was to review and summarize information about how speech perception in complex listening situations changes across the adult age range. Method: This article provides a review of age-related changes in speech understanding in complex listening environments and summarizes results from several studies conducted in our laboratory. Results: Both degree of high frequency hearing loss and cognitive test performance limit individuals' ability to understand speech in difficult listening situations as they age. The performance of middle-aged adults is similar to that of younger adults in the presence of noise maskers, but they experience substantially more difficulty when the masker is 1 or 2 competing speech messages. For the most part, middle-aged participants in studies conducted in our laboratory reported as much self-perceived hearing problems as did older adult participants. Conclusions: Research supports the multifactorial nature of listening in real-world environments. Current audiologic assessment practices are often insufficient to identify the true speech understanding struggles that individuals experience in these situations. This points to the importance of giving weight to patients' self-reported difficulties.
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. 2200 Research Blvd #250, Rockville, MD 20850. Tel: 301-296-5700; Fax: 301-296-8580; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: R01012057