Children with cochlear implants (CIs) exhibit great variability in their vocabulary outcomes (Majorano et al., 2018), even though a younger age at implantation favors better language development (Boons et al., 2013). Among the variables possibly affecting early vocabulary skills are individual differences in music exposure and engagement and in parental musicality, as studies show that these factors influence language outcomes in children with typical and atypical development (Ladányi et al., 2020; Nayak et al., 2021; Torppa & Huotilainen, 2019). To explore this hypothesis, we conducted a longitudinal study on 16 Italian children with CIs with severe to profound deafness. We tested the sample before implantation (mean age=16 months, SD=7.7, range=9-32) and at three, six, and twelve months after CI activation. Children’s vocabulary was measured using the MacArthur-Bates-Communication Development Inventory (MB-CDI) and video-recordings of mother-child interactions at each session. Children’s music exposure over the first year after CI activation was acquired by data logs from children’s devices. Self-report questionnaires measuring musicality and engagement with music were administered to mothers (Müllensiefen et al., 2014; Politimou et al., 2019). Preliminary analyses with maternal education as covariate showed that mothers’ musicality predicted children’s production scores in the MB-CDI three months after activation. Linear regressions showed that average daily exposure to music in the three months after activation significantly predicted children’s comprehension scores in the MB-CDI three months after activation. In both cases, when added in the model, mothers’ self-reported musical variables significantly increased the proportion of variance explained. These findings suggest that mothers’ musical abilities and children’s music exposure and engagement in the first months after implantation play an important role in affecting children with CIs’ expressive and receptive vocabulary. Therefore, for infants and toddlers with CIs, being musically engaged and exposed may mean having enhanced language outcomes, with implications on socio-educational and clinical levels.

A longitudinal study of vocabulary development in children with cochlear implants: the role of music exposure and maternal musicality

Michela Santangelo
;
Valentina Persici;Marinella Majorano
2022

Abstract

Children with cochlear implants (CIs) exhibit great variability in their vocabulary outcomes (Majorano et al., 2018), even though a younger age at implantation favors better language development (Boons et al., 2013). Among the variables possibly affecting early vocabulary skills are individual differences in music exposure and engagement and in parental musicality, as studies show that these factors influence language outcomes in children with typical and atypical development (Ladányi et al., 2020; Nayak et al., 2021; Torppa & Huotilainen, 2019). To explore this hypothesis, we conducted a longitudinal study on 16 Italian children with CIs with severe to profound deafness. We tested the sample before implantation (mean age=16 months, SD=7.7, range=9-32) and at three, six, and twelve months after CI activation. Children’s vocabulary was measured using the MacArthur-Bates-Communication Development Inventory (MB-CDI) and video-recordings of mother-child interactions at each session. Children’s music exposure over the first year after CI activation was acquired by data logs from children’s devices. Self-report questionnaires measuring musicality and engagement with music were administered to mothers (Müllensiefen et al., 2014; Politimou et al., 2019). Preliminary analyses with maternal education as covariate showed that mothers’ musicality predicted children’s production scores in the MB-CDI three months after activation. Linear regressions showed that average daily exposure to music in the three months after activation significantly predicted children’s comprehension scores in the MB-CDI three months after activation. In both cases, when added in the model, mothers’ self-reported musical variables significantly increased the proportion of variance explained. These findings suggest that mothers’ musical abilities and children’s music exposure and engagement in the first months after implantation play an important role in affecting children with CIs’ expressive and receptive vocabulary. Therefore, for infants and toddlers with CIs, being musically engaged and exposed may mean having enhanced language outcomes, with implications on socio-educational and clinical levels.
cochlear implants; vocabulary; children; music exposure; musicality; Italian
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11562/1078747
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