Hearing Loss and the Achievement Gap Among Minority Youth Objectives To outline the prevalence and disparities of hearing problems among school-aged urban minority youth, causal pathways through which hearing problems adversely affect academic achievement, and proven or promising approaches for schools and parents to address these problems. Methods Literature review. Results Most school-aged youth will ... Article
Article  |   December 19, 2017
Hearing Loss and the Achievement Gap Among Minority Youth
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Lori A. Pakulski
    School of Intervention and Wellness, The University of Toledo, Toledo, OH
  • Jennifer Glassman
    School of Intervention and Wellness, The University of Toledo, Toledo, OH
  • Monica Williams
    School of Population Health, The University of Toledo, Toledo, OH
  • Disclosures
    Disclosures ×
  • Financial: Lori A. Pakulski has no relevant financial interests to disclose. Jennifer Glassman has no relevant financial interests to disclose. Monica Williams has no relevant financial interests to disclose.
    Financial: Lori A. Pakulski has no relevant financial interests to disclose. Jennifer Glassman has no relevant financial interests to disclose. Monica Williams has no relevant financial interests to disclose.×
  • Nonfinancial: Lori A. Pakulski has no relevant nonfinancial interests to disclose. Jennifer Glassman has no relevant nonfinancial interests to disclose. Monica Williams has no relevant nonfinancial interests to disclose.
    Nonfinancial: Lori A. Pakulski has no relevant nonfinancial interests to disclose. Jennifer Glassman has no relevant nonfinancial interests to disclose. Monica Williams has no relevant nonfinancial interests to disclose.×
Article Information
Hearing Disorders / Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / School-Based Settings / Part 1
Article   |   December 19, 2017
Hearing Loss and the Achievement Gap Among Minority Youth
Perspectives of the ASHA Special Interest Groups, December 2017, Vol. 2, 9-17. doi:10.1044/persp2.SIG8.9
History: Received September 3, 2017 , Revised October 25, 2017 , Accepted October 31, 2017
Perspectives of the ASHA Special Interest Groups, December 2017, Vol. 2, 9-17. doi:10.1044/persp2.SIG8.9
History: Received September 3, 2017; Revised October 25, 2017; Accepted October 31, 2017

Objectives To outline the prevalence and disparities of hearing problems among school-aged urban minority youth, causal pathways through which hearing problems adversely affect academic achievement, and proven or promising approaches for schools and parents to address these problems.

Methods Literature review.

Results Most school-aged youth will experience a temporary, fluctuating hearing loss at least once and about 20% of U.S. adolescents have some kind of permanent hearing problem. When nationally representative samples of hearing loss among youth under age18 were conducted, those from lower socioeconomic families were more likely to have a hearing loss (23.6%) than those from families above the poverty threshold. Hearing screening is widespread in schools, but the benefits are jeopardized by non-standardization, inadequate methods for commonly occurring losses, and lack of follow-up.

Conclusions Hearing problems are disproportionately prevalent among school-aged urban minority youth, and have a negative impact on academic achievement through sensory perceptions, cognition, and school connectedness. Effective practices are available for schools to address these problems. To better realize the benefits of current investments in screening, programs will require improved prevention efforts and follow-up/coordination between agencies conducting screening, school nurses, teachers, speech-language pathologists (SLPs), audiologists, parents, and in some cases, physicians and community resources.

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