2015 IPFW Student Research and Creative Endeavor Symposium



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Faculty Sponsor

Dr. Jonathan Dalby


Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders

University Affiliation

Indiana University – Purdue University Fort Wayne

IPFW Sigma Xi (Scientific Research Honor Society) Student Research Competition

Best Undergraduate Student Poster Presentation

IPFW Student Research and Creative Endeavor Symposium Award Winner



The correlation between child hearing health and parent socioeconomic status has been suggested by many, but actual data is limited. This study examined the hearing screening pass/fail rates of children ages three through five years old who attended one of the eight Community Action of Northeast Indiana Head Start centers in three counties (Allen, Noble, and Whitley) during the fall of 2014. The subjects of this study included 435 students, ages three through five years old who underwent otoscopic examination and otoacoustic emission testing. For comparison, the children were divided into eight different groups based on the preschool’s zip code. There was a clear correlation between the percentage of students who passed their initial preschool hearing screening with median annual household income as determined by the 2010 U.S. Census Bureau data. The correlation coefficient was .75. A second comparison which included just the children from the Fort Wayne urban area yielded a correlation coefficient of .80. Since the main criterion for Head Start eligibility is family at or below poverty level, the correlation of pass rates with median income in the surrounding neighborhood suggests that more affluent neighborhoods support better health care outcomes even for the most disadvantages families.

These results suggest that there should be a strong emphasis on the needs of the preschool children from socioeconomically disadvantaged neighborhoods when planning preschool hearing screening services.


preschool, hearing screening, socioeconomic status, median household income


Communication Sciences and Disorders | Medicine and Health Sciences

Hearing screening pass/fail rates for Head Start children in northeast Indiana