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Laryngoscope. 1996 Jun;106(6):727-32.

Early otitis media and phonological development at age 2 years.

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Department of Otolaryngology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, N.Y.


The effect of early otitis media on phonology and articulation in the presence of expressive language delay was investigated in 16 2-year-olds followed prospectively from birth. Eight of the children were designated otitis-positive and 8 were considered otitis-negative as determined by bilateral pneumatic otoscopy outcomes during year 1 of life. The groups differed significantly on measures of expressive, not receptive, language development. All members of the otitis-positive group were expressive language delayed. Phonological analyses were completed on spoken language samples elicited from each child at age 24 months. Results showed similar developmental tendencies in speech sound acquisition between the groups, but the otitis-positive group had established significantly fewer initial consonant phones and produced them less accurately than the otitis-negative subject group. The otitis-positive group acquired significantly fewer consonants with back place of articulation. Similar phonological error patterns of deletion and phoneme class deficiency were used by the groups, but the otitis-positive group used the error patterns more frequently. Findings here lend support to the otitis media effect as one of interaction among risk factors.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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