Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Recurrent Middle Ear Infections Can Have A Major Impact On Children's Development

Date:
February 6, 2007
Source:
University of Western Sydney
Summary:
A study by the University of Western Sydney has revealed that recurring middle ear infections in early childhood can have a detrimental impact on language and literacy skill development in later life.

A study by the University of Western Sydney has revealed that recurring middle ear infections in early childhood can have a detrimental impact on language and literacy skill development in later life.

Study author, Dr Heather Winskel, from the University's School of Psychology, says middle ear infection or otitis media (OM) is the most common childhood illness.

"At least 70% of children are likely to experience at least one episode of otitis media before they are three-years-old and for many children it is a recurrent problem," says Dr Winskel.

"The peak incidence of OM occurs when children are between 6 and 18 months, which is the most critical period of language development, when the infant is tuning in to the speech sounds that characterise their native language. This process allows young children to break into the stream of speech and eventually map sound onto meaning.

"Fluctuating hearing loss due to OM during the early years of life presents the child with an intermittent speech signal that is difficult to process."

According to Dr Winskel, while earlier studies have indicated that ongoing middle ear infections in young children appear to be linked with poor language and literacy skills these studies have also produced conflicting results.

"This study attempts to address the shortfalls of earlier research by using a variety of language and reading measures which allow us to ascertain which particular levels or aspects of language and reading are affected by an early occurrence of OM."

The project compared two groups of children aged between 6 and 8 years from schools across western Sydney - 43 children with an early history of repeated episodes of OM before the age of three and a control group of 43 children matched for chronological age, gender and socio-economic status.

Children were tested on three different linguistic levels - phonological awareness, semantic knowledge and narration and reading ability.

Dr Winskel says the findings support the view that if a child experiences OM during the crucial first years of life, it may have long-term effects on subsequent language and literacy development.

"There was a general tendency for children with a history of OM to achieve lower scores on phonological awareness skills of alliteration, rhyme and non-word reading, semantic skills of expressive vocabulary and word definitions and reading compared to non-OM children," she says.

"Extensive research has indicated that phonological awareness is a necessary skill children need to begin reading.

"It appears that although some speech and language deficits may be overcome with age, other effects have the potential to persist beyond the pre-school years."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Western Sydney. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Western Sydney. "Recurrent Middle Ear Infections Can Have A Major Impact On Children's Development." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 February 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/02/070205115128.htm>.
University of Western Sydney. (2007, February 6). Recurrent Middle Ear Infections Can Have A Major Impact On Children's Development. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/02/070205115128.htm
University of Western Sydney. "Recurrent Middle Ear Infections Can Have A Major Impact On Children's Development." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/02/070205115128.htm (accessed August 30, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Treadmill 'trips' May Reduce Falls for Elderly

Treadmill 'trips' May Reduce Falls for Elderly

AP (Aug. 28, 2014) Scientists are tripping the elderly on purpose in a Chicago lab in an effort to better prevent seniors from falling and injuring themselves in real life. (Aug.28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Alice in Wonderland Syndrome

Alice in Wonderland Syndrome

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) It’s an unusual condition with a colorful name. Kids with “Alice in Wonderland” syndrome see sudden distortions in objects they’re looking at or their own bodies appear to change size, a lot like the main character in the Lewis Carroll story. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Stopping Schizophrenia Before Birth

Stopping Schizophrenia Before Birth

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) Scientists have long called choline a “brain booster” essential for human development. Not only does it aid in memory and learning, researchers now believe choline could help prevent mental illness. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Personalized Brain Vaccine for Glioblastoma

Personalized Brain Vaccine for Glioblastoma

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) Glioblastoma is the most common and aggressive brain cancer in humans. Now a new treatment using the patient’s own tumor could help slow down its progression and help patients live longer. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins