Perception of Accented Speech by Residents in Assisted-Living Facilities

By Burda, Angela N.; Hageman, Carlin F. | Journal of Medical Speech - Language Pathology, March 2005 | Go to article overview

Perception of Accented Speech by Residents in Assisted-Living Facilities


Burda, Angela N., Hageman, Carlin F., Journal of Medical Speech - Language Pathology


This study measured how intelligible accented speech was to residents in assisted-living facilities. Twenty native speakers of English, ages 62 to 91, listened to words and sentences produced by native speakers of English, Taiwanese, and Spanish. Participants transcribed the words and sentences and rated speakers' comprehensibility (i.e., listeners' perceptions of difficulty in understanding utterances) and accentedness (i.e., how strong a speaker's foreign accent is perceived to be) using separate 7-point Likert-type scales. On intelligibility measures, participants did significantly poorer on items spoken by the nonnative speakers of English compared to the native English speakers. Participants had higher scores on transcribing sentences compared to words produced by nonnative speakers of English. There was no interaction between native language and type of stimulus (i.e., words, sentences). Ratings of comprehensibility were highly correlated with ratings of accentedness. These data suggest that listening to accented speech may be difficult for native English listeners residing in assisted-living facilities and that further study of caregiver and resident communication strategies is needed.

**********

Recent reports indicate that the population in the United States is rapidly aging (U.S. Bureau of the Census, 2000), leading to a greater number of older adults living in a variety of facilities other than their home. Many types of facilities exist with varying levels of care. Because nursing homes provide residents with meals, room and board, and a great deal of nursing care, many medically fragile and care-intensive individuals tend to reside in those facilities. Assisted-living facilities also provide residents with meals and housing; however, nursing care tends to be more limited (Beulow & Fee, 2000). Generally, these facilities allow individuals to live as independently as possible, while providing higher levels of service as residents' needs change (Mollica, 2001). Assisted-living facilities have become an important housing alternative for the aging population (Sikorska, 1999), with the demand stimulating a rapid development of this type of care facility (Mollica & Snow, 1996).

The availability of services and staff resources is important for assisted-living facilities because many residents experience some type of functional decline (Lewin-VHI, 1996). In addition to the quality of care, recent studies have shown that residents often indicate interaction with staff is an essential component (Beulow & Fee, 2000). Communication is a prominent element of successful interactions between residents and health care staff.

Numerous physiological changes associated with aging may adversely impact older adults' abilities to communicate effectively. For example, many older adults suffer from presbycusis, a progressive, bilaterally symmetrical sensorineural hearing loss that generally occurs later in life (Marshall, 1981). Often, presbycusis leads to poorer sensitivity in high-frequency sounds, with relatively well-preserved hearing abilities for low-frequency sounds (Helfer, 1995). Relatedly, speech perception is also often compromised as people age (Nerbonne, 1988). Older adults may complain that although they can hear, they cannot understand speech (Garstecki & Erler, 1997). Older adults also tend to demonstrate reduced working memory abilities (Connor, 2001). Working memory requires information to be stored and manipulated for a short period (Connor, 2001). Generally, research suggests no significant age effects exist in the immediate recall of short units of information (i.e., young and old adults perform roughly the same), but recall of lengthier information (e.g., long, complex sentences) is more difficult for older adults (see Craik, 2000, for a review). Problems with working memory in the aged may suggest a decline in the speed of cognitive processing (Salthouse, 1994). …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Perception of Accented Speech by Residents in Assisted-Living Facilities
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.