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Purpose We employed a time-gated word recognition task to investigate how children who are hard of hearing (CHH) and children with normal hearing (CNH) combine cognitive-linguistic abilities and acoustic-phonetic cues to recognize words in sentence-final position. Method The current study included 40 CHH and 30 CNH in 1st or 3rd grade. Participants completed vocabulary and working memory tests and a time-gated word recognition task consisting of 14 high- and 14 low-predictability sentences. A time-to-event model was used to evaluate the effect of the independent variables (age, hearing status, predictability) on word recognition. Mediation models were used to examine the associations between the independent variables (vocabulary size and working memory), aided audibility, and word recognition. Results Gated words were identified significantly earlier for high-predictability than low-predictability sentences. First-grade CHH and CNH showed no significant difference in performance. Third-grade CHH needed more information than CNH to identify final words. Aided audibility was associated with word recognition. This association was fully mediated by vocabulary size but not working memory. Conclusions Both CHH and CNH benefited from the addition of semantic context. Interventions that focus on consistent aided audibility and vocabulary may enhance children's ability to fill in gaps in incoming messages.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Journal of speech, language, and hearing research : JSLHR
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