Administration and Partial Validation of a Vowel Discrimination Test for Severely Hearing Impaired Children
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Thirty-nine hearing impaired children, aged 10 to 14 and one hearing impaired child aged 16, with average hearing-threshold levels ranging from 42 to 115 dB HL, were tested with a ninety-item, closed-response vowel discrimination test. Those who could perform with Phonetically Balanced Kindergarten (PBK) lists were tested with two PBK lists. To provide enough amplification to reach suprathreshold levels, an Oticon Ʃ22P hearing aid was worn on one ear of each subject while the tests were presented at 55 dB HL or less through a speaker. The basic trend in vowel test scores was an increase in scores as hearing loss decreased. Pearson product-moment correlation coefficients of .88 and .79, respectively, were obtained as reliability coefficients for the test using the split-half,and test-retest methods. Suggestions for increasing the reliability of the test include shortening the test and improving administration methods., A correlation coefficient between the two PBK lists of .98 was found. A concurrent validity coefficient of .71, significant to the .01 level, was found between single PBK scores and vowel test scores. The vowel discrimination test w.as seen to be a promising clinical tool, worthy of further development with the group for which it was designed, severely hearing impaired four- and five-year-olds.