Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Honors Thesis



First Advisor

Tonya Bergeson

Second Advisor

Irina Castellanos


Researchers agree that one of the methods by which infants learn spoken language through caregivers’ use of infant directed speech. However, the quantity and quality of language during caregiver-infant interactions may decrease in the presence of electronic media, and media may not only limit language input but create a more complex listening situation for children with sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL). The purpose of this study was to explore the relationship between electronic media exposure in the homes of children with SNHL, as compared to peers with normal hearing (NH), and later language skills. This study will provide novel information on the potential impact of media exposure during early language development in children with hearing loss.

The home-auditory environments of 5 children with SNHL and 4 NH children at 9 months of hearing age were analyzed using Language ENvironment Analysis (LENA) recordings. The first 5 minutes of each waking hour of one day-long recording were coded for conversational turns (CTs), caregiver statements without child response, child vocalizations without caregiver response, the presence of television or media, the use of adult- or infant-directed speech, and other situational factors. It was predicted that the quantity and quality of caregiver speech would decrease with media exposure, leading to lower attainment in children with SNHL. Findings suggest a negative effect of media exposure on the language development of children with SNHL.