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Year : 2013  |  Volume : 15  |  Issue : 64  |  Page : 178--182

Evaluation of speech perception in competing noise conditions for normally hearing children

1 Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, West China Hospital of Sichuan University, Chengdu, People's Republic of China
2 Department of Clinical, Sichuan University, Chengdu, People's Republic of China

Correspondence Address:
Yun Zheng
No. 37, GuoXueXiang, Chengdu, 610041, Sichuan
People's Republic of China
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1463-1741.112367

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Evaluation of speech perception in noisy environments for normally hearing children was conducted in order to provide normal data for speech perception testing in children with hearing impairments thus improving early intervention alternatives for Mandarin-speaking children with hearing impairments. The speech perception abilities of 174 developmentally normal children ranging aged 2-5 years, in four age groups, were evaluated in environments that were quiet or with high levels of competing noise using the Mandarin pediatric speech intelligibility (MPSI) test. The mean score of MPSI between the four age groups showed notable statistical differences, including a variation in mean score between the four age groups, clearly indicating that the speech perception abilities of young children in noisy environments improved greatly with age, most notably between the ages of 3 and 4 years old. Speech perception ability in noisy environments was shown to be significantly, but weakly, related to age, implying the presence of other, possibly environment factors, in speech perception development. Furthermore, no statistically significant difference between boys and girls was noted in the experimental MPSI scores. The ability of children to increasingly perceive speech in environments containing high competing noise levels was shown to gradually and progressively increase with age. These results indicated that the developing Mandarin speech perception abilities in noisy environments in normal hearing children develops substantially after the age of 3-4 years, suggesting that similar age ranges may be even more critical intervention points for children with hearing impairments. More studies are still needed to confirm that.


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