Purpose: To evaluate joint engagement (JE) in age-matched children with and without hearing and its relationship to oral language skills.
Method: Participants were 180 children with severe-toprofound hearing loss prior to cochlear implant surgery, and 96 age-matched children with normal hearing; all parents were hearing. JE was evaluated in a 10-minute videotaped free play task with parents. Engagement states ranged from the lowest (unengaged) to the highest level (symbol-infused coordinated). Standardized language measures were administered.
Results: Multivariate analyses were conducted between the groups, stratified by chronological and language age. Children who were deaf (Deaf) spent less time in total symbol-infused JE than children with normal hearing (NH) across all ages. The majority of the Deaf group (83%) fell in the lowest language age group, in comparison to 35% of the NH group, and spent significantly less time in symbol-infused JE than hearing children. These delays were also observed in the Deaf group, who fell into the 18-36 month language age. No children in the Deaf group had achieved a language age of > 36 months.
Conclusions: Young children with and without hearing had different developmental trajectories of JE, which were related to oral language skills.
- Hearing loss
- Joint engagement
- Ochlear implants
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Speech and Hearing
- Language and Linguistics
- Linguistics and Language