This study examined how different background noise conditions affected the spoken language production of young (18-25) and older (60-85) adults when performing a story retell task. Participants included 10 female and 10 male young adult (YA) participants, as well as 10 female and 10 male older adult (OA) participants. Participants retold stories in a silent baseline and five background noise conditions (conversation, monologue, phone call, cocktail, pink noise). Speech fluency and language production measures (cohesive and coherent utterances, lexical-phonological errors, grammatically correct words, Moving Average Type Token Ratio (MATTR), speech rate, and disfluent words) were compared between groups and across conditions. Results reveal that background noise led to an increase in speech rate for the OA compared to the YA group. A main effect was also found for disfluent words, specifically between the phone call and conversation condition, as well as the pink noise and phone call conditions. The OA also experience background noise benefits in relation to speech fluency (conversation and phone call conditions) and lexical production (conversation condition). The YA group experience background noise costs in relation to speech rate in the phone call condition. These findings suggest that background noise benefits discourse more for OA and interferes more for YA.
College and Department
David O. McKay School of Education; Communication Disorders
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
LeCheminant, Erin, "Effects of Background Noise on the Spoken Language of Young and Older Adults During Narrative Discourse" (2022). Theses and Dissertations. 9541.
age groups, language, divided attention, noise, distraction