ERIC Number: EJ1173905
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018-Mar
Abstractor: As Provided
Masked Speech Recognition and Reading Ability in School-Age Children: Is There a Relationship?
Miller, Gabrielle; Lewis, Barbara; Benchek, Penelope; Buss, Emily; Calandruccio, Lauren
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, v61 n3 p776-788 Mar 2018
Purpose: The relationship between reading (decoding) skills, phonological processing abilities, and masked speech recognition in typically developing children was explored. This experiment was designed to evaluate the relationship between phonological processing and decoding abilities and 2 aspects of masked speech recognition in typically developing children: (a) the ability to benefit from temporal and spectral modulations within a noise masker and (b) the masking exerted by a speech masker. Method: Forty-two typically developing 3rd- and 4th-grade children with normal hearing, ranging in age from 8;10 to 10;6 years (mean age = 9;2 years, SD = 0.5 months), completed sentence recognition testing in 4 different maskers: steady-state noise, temporally modulated noise, spectrally modulated noise, and two-talker speech. Children also underwent assessment of phonological processing abilities and assessments of single-word decoding. As a comparison group, 15 adults with normal hearing also completed speech-in-noise testing. Results: Speech recognition thresholds varied between approximately 3 and 7 dB across children, depending on the masker condition. Compared to adults, performance in the 2-talker masker was relatively consistent across children. Furthermore, decreasing the signal-to-noise ratio had a more precipitously deleterious effect on children's speech recognition in the 2-talker masker than was observed for adults. For children, individual differences in speech recognition threshold were not predicted by phonological awareness or decoding ability in any masker condition. Conclusions: No relationship was found between phonological awareness and/or decoding ability and a child's ability to benefit from spectral or temporal modulations. In addition, phonological awareness and/or decoding ability was not related to speech recognition in a 2-talker masker. Last, these data suggest that the between-listeners variability often observed in 2-talker maskers for adults may be smaller for children. The reasons for this child-adult difference need to be further explored.
Descriptors: Reading Ability, Decoding (Reading), Phonological Awareness, Recognition (Psychology), Sentences, Grade 3, Grade 4, Comparative Analysis, Adults, Children, Acoustics, Speech, Correlation, Auditory Tests, Hearing (Physiology), Reading Skills
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Grade 3
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A