Vocabulary development in children with hearing loss: The role of child, family, and educational variables

Karien M. Coppens*, Agnes Tellings, William van der Veld, Robert Schreuder, Ludo Verhoeven

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

8 Citations (Web of Science)


In the present study we examined the effect of hearing status on reading vocabulary development. More specifically, we examined the change of lexical competence in children with hearing loss over grade 4-7 and the predictors of this change. Therefore, we used a multi-factor longitudinal design with multiple outcomes, measuring the reading vocabulary knowledge in children with hearing loss from grades 4 and 5, and of children without hearing loss from grade 4, for 3 years with two word tasks: a lexical decision task and a use decision task. With these tasks we measured word form recognition and (in)correct usage recognition, respectively. A GLM repeated measures procedure indicated that scores and growth rates on the two tasks were affected by hearing status. Moreover, with structural equation modeling we observed that the development of lexical competence in children with hearing loss is stable over time, and a child's lexical competence can be explained best by his or her lexical competence assessed on a previous measurement occasion. If you look back, differences in lexical competence among children with hearing loss stay unfortunately the same. Educational placement, use of sign language at home, intelligence, use of hearing devices, and onset of deafness can account for the differences among children with hearing loss.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)119-128
JournalResearch in Developmental Disabilities
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Hearing status
  • Hearing loss
  • Reading vocabulary
  • Vocabulary development
  • Developmental rates
  • Child variables
  • Family variables
  • Educational variables

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