Professional and Lay Observers' Impressions of Preschoolers Wearing Hearing Aids This study determined whether professional and lay observers had similar impressions of preschoolers wearing hearing aids and if the size of the aid affected ratings. Stimuli consisted of three photographic slides of nine normally-hearing and speaking male preschoolers wearing (1) a body-type hearing aid, (2) a post-auricular type aid, and ... Reports
Reports  |   August 01, 1980
Professional and Lay Observers' Impressions of Preschoolers Wearing Hearing Aids
 
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Article Information
Reports   |   August 01, 1980
Professional and Lay Observers' Impressions of Preschoolers Wearing Hearing Aids
Journal of Speech and Hearing Disorders, August 1980, Vol. 45, 415-422. doi:10.1044/jshd.4503.415
History: Received September 5, 1978 , Accepted February 6, 1980
 
Journal of Speech and Hearing Disorders, August 1980, Vol. 45, 415-422. doi:10.1044/jshd.4503.415
History: Received September 5, 1978; Accepted February 6, 1980

This study determined whether professional and lay observers had similar impressions of preschoolers wearing hearing aids and if the size of the aid affected ratings. Stimuli consisted of three photographic slides of nine normally-hearing and speaking male preschoolers wearing (1) a body-type hearing aid, (2) a post-auricular type aid, and (3) no aid. Slides were accompanied by taped speech samples. Stimuli were presented to 75 professional and 75 lay observers who rated the children on a semantic differential scale containing 15 adjectives. Ratings were submitted to a factor analysis revealing Factor I as achievement and Factor II as appearance. Results of MANOVAs revealed that neither professional nor lay observers discriminated against the children on appearance regardless of the presence of a hearing aid, but that both groups rated them significantly poorer on achievement when an aid was present. Lay observers' ratings showed a bias against the size of the aid, while professionals exhibited negative impressions whenever an aid was present, regardless of its size. These findings indicate that the "hearing aid effect" was present on variables of achievement even for normal-hearing preschoolers.

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