Early middle ear effusion and language at age seven

Dale L. Johnson, David P. McCormick, Constance D. Baldwin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


This study examined the relation of middle ear effusion (MEE) in the first 3 years of life to language outcomes at age seven. It was hypothesized, on the basis of a literature review, that (1) a low, but positive relation between early MEE and language measures in general will be observed at age seven, and (2) major effects will be demonstrated for measures of articulation and phonological sensitivity. MEE was assessed as days with bilateral MEE and episodes of MEE. Three measures of language status were used: the Test of Auditory Analysis Skill (TAAS [Rosner, J. (1975). TAAS: Test of Auditory Analysis Skill. Novato, CA: Academic Therapy Publications]), Goldman-Fristoe Articulation Test, Sounds in Words and Sounds in Sentences (GFAT [Goldman, R., & Fristoe, M. (1986). Goldman-Fristoe Test of Articulation. Circle Pines, MN: American Guidance Service]), and the Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamentals-revised (CELF-R [Semel, E. M., Wiig, E. H., & Secord, W. (1987). CELF: Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamentals-Revised. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich]). The sample included 179 children who were heterogeneous for SES and ethnicity. There were no significant correlations for MEE and language measures. These negative results were sustained when multiple regression was used with controls for socioeconomic status and quality of the home environment. Learning outcomes: We conclude that early MEE may not pose a threat to language development in the early school years.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)20-32
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Communication Disorders
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • LPN and LVN
  • Speech and Hearing


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