Hearing & Speech Sciences Theses and Dissertations

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    Supportive Messages Perceived and Recevied in a Therapeutic Setting
    (1994) Barr, Jeanine Rice; Freimuth, Vicki S.; Speech Communication; University of Maryland (College Park, Md); Digital Repository at the University of Maryland
    This study examines how communication of social support influences the behavioral change process in a particular environment. Specifically, the research question is: How is social support related to commitment to recovery from alcoholism/addiction? A one group pre-test/post-test research design was used with subjects in two addictions treatment centers. Questions were designed to measure changes that took place in individual's perception of supportiveness of messages received, the network support available to them, changes in uncertainty and self-esteem. Finally, how these variables predict commitment to recovery was examined. Results showed no relationship between strength of network at time 1 and the supportiveness of messages received. Strength of network support, self-esteem, and uncertainty reduction improved from time 1 to time 2. The major predictor of a patient's commitment to recovery was the level of self esteem at time 2. However, a strong correlation was found between self-esteem and strength of network at time 2.
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    The Effect Of Language Mixing on Word Retrieval in Bilingual Adults with Aphasia
    (2022) Nichols, Meghan; Faroqi-Shah, Yasmeen; Hearing and Speech Sciences; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)
    Lexical retrieval deficits are a common feature in aphasia, and while much research has been done on bilingual aphasia and on the processes involved in language mixing by healthy bilingual adults, it is not clear whether it may be beneficial for bilingual people with aphasia to change languages in moments of lexical retrieval or if it is more effective to continue the lexical search in one language. The primary aim of this project was to determine whether bilingual people with aphasia demonstrate global and local effects of language mixing. Grammatical categories (i.e., nouns and verbs) were examined separately, and participant- and stimulus-related factors were considered. Based on preliminary analyses of participants’ accuracy and response onset latencies, it appears that participants tended to benefit from mixing in terms of speed and accuracy and that their results may be related to their language proficiency and dominance.
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    Examining Narrative Language in Early Stage Parkinson's Disease and Intermediate Farsi-English Bilingual Speakers
    (2022) Lohrasbi, Bushra; Faroqi-Shah, Yasmeen; Hearing and Speech Sciences; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)
    This study aimed to examine procedural aspects of language (grammaticality, syntactic complexity, regular past tense verb production), verb use, and the association between motor-speech, language abilities, and intelligibility in Early Stage Parkinson's Disease (PD) and Intermediate Farsi-English Bilingual Speakers (L2). Ullman’s Declarative-Procedural Model (2001) provided this study with a dual-mechanism model that justified a theoretical comparison between these two populations. Twenty-four neurologically healthy native speakers of English, twenty-three Parkinson’s Disease participants, and thirteen bilingual Farsi-English speakers completed three narrative picture description tasks and read the first three sentences of the Rainbow Passage. Language samples were transcribed and analyzed to derive measures of morphosyntax and verb use, including grammatical accuracy, grammatical complexity, and proportions of regular past tense, action verbs and light verbs. The results did not show any evidence of morphosyntactic or action verb deficit in PD. Neither was there any evidence of a trade-off between morphosyntactic performance and severity of speech motor impairment in PD. L2 speakers had lower scores on grammatical accuracy and a measure of morphosyntactic complexity, but did not differ from monolingual speakers on measures of verb use. Overall, these results show that language abilities (morphosyntax and verb use) are preserved in early stage PD. This study replicates the well-documented finding that morphosyntax is particularly challenging for late bilingual speakers. The results did not support Ullman’s Declarative-Procedural (2001) hypothesis of language production in Parkinson’s Disease or L2 speakers.
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    The Impact of Maternal Negative Language on Children’s Language Development
    (2022) Lee, Hae Ri; Bernstein Ratner, Nan; Hearing and Speech Sciences; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)
    Various features of infant- and child-directed speech (IDS/CDS) are known to have a positive impact on children’s language development. Some, such as directive language, appear to be less facilitating. We investigated whether mothers’ usage of negative language impacts children’s language development. Thirty-three mothers’ language samples at 30 months and children’s conversational language samples at 66 months were analyzed to locate operationally defined negative language and imperatives. Five language sample analysis measures were utilized to assess children’s expressive language abilities. Inverse relationships between maternal use of negative language and children’s language outcome measures were found. This preliminary result suggests that the more children hear negative language at an earlier age, the lower their language outcomes are at a later age. This study was exploratory in nature, and various limitations and implications for future studies are outlined in the paper.
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    (2022) Johnson, Allison Ann; Edwards, Jan; Hearing and Speech Sciences; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)
    The primary objective of this dissertation was to assess four consonants, /t/, /k/, /s/, and /ʃ/, produced by young children with cochlear implants (CIs). These consonants were chosen because they comprise two place-of-articulation contrasts, which are cued auditorily by spectral information in English, and they cover both early-acquired (/t/, /k/) and late-acquired (/s/, /ʃ/) manners of articulation. Thus, the auditory-perceptual limitations imposed by CIs is likely to impact acquisition of these sounds: because spectral information is particularly distorted, children have limited access to the cues that differentiate these sounds.Twenty-eight children with CIs and a group of peers with normal hearing (NH) who were matched in terms of age, sex, and maternal education levels participated in this project. The experiment required children to repeat familiar words with initial /t/, /k/, /s/, or /ʃ/ following an auditory model and picture prompt. To create in-depth speech profiles and examine variability both within and across children, target consonants were elicited many times in front-vowel and back-vowel contexts. Patterns of accuracy and errors were analyzed based on transcriptions. Acoustic robustness of contrast was analyzed based on correct productions. Centroid frequencies were calculated from the release-burst spectra for /t/ and /k/ and the fricative noise spectra for /s/ and /ʃ/. Results showed that children with CIs demonstrated patterns not observed in children with NH. Findings provide evidence that for children with CIs, speech acquisition is not simply delayed due to a period of auditory deprivation prior to implantation. Idiosyncratic patterns in speech production are explained in-part by the limitations of CI’s speech-processing algorithms. The first chapter of this dissertation provides a general introduction. The second chapter includes a validation study for a measure to differentiate /t/ and /k/ in adults’ productions. The third chapter analyzes accuracy, errors, and spectral features of /t/ and /k/ across groups of children with and without CIs. The fourth chapter analyzes /s/ and /ʃ/ across groups of children, as well as the spectral robustness of both the /t/-/k/ and the /s/-/ʃ/ contrasts across adults and children. The final chapter discusses future directions for research and clinical applications for speech-language pathologists.