Chronic Noise Exposure and Reading Deficits


ABSTRACT: First- and second-grade schoolchildren chronically exposed to aircraft noise have significant deficits in reading as indexed by a standardized reading test administered under quiet conditions. These findings indicate that the harmful effects of noise are related to chronic exposure rather than interference effects during the testing session itself. We also provide evidence that the adverse correlation of chronic noise with reading is partially attributable to deficits in language acquisition. Children chronically exposed to noise also suffer from impaired speech perception, which, in turm,partially mediates the noise-exposure-reading deficit link. All of these findings statistically controlled for mother’s education. Furthermore, the children in this study were
pre-screened for normal hearing by a standard audiometric examination.