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Measuring Perceptions of Classroom Listening in Typically Developing Children and Children with Auditory Difficulties Using the LIFE-UK Questionnaire

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Background:

Classrooms can be noisy and are challenging listening environments for children with auditory processing disorder (APD). This research was undertaken to determine if the Listening Inventory for Education-UK version (LIFE-UK) can differentiate children with listening difficulties and APD from their typically developing peers.

Purpose:

To investigate reliability and validity of the student and teacher versions LIFE-UK questionnaire for assessing classroom listening difficulties.

Research Design:

Cross-sectional quantitative study comparing children with listening difficulties with typically developing children.

Study Sample:

In total, 143 children (7‐12 yr) participated; 45 were diagnosed with APD. Fifteen participants with reported listening difficulties who passed the APD test battery were assigned to a “listening difficulty” (LiD) group. Eighty three children from nine classrooms formed a Control group.

Data Collection and Analysis:

Children and teachers completed the LIFE-UK questionnaire student and teacher versions. Factor analysis was undertaken, and item reliability was assessed using Cronbach’s alpha. Teacher and student ratings were compared using Spearman correlations. Correlations between LIFE-UK ratings and APD test results were also investigated.

Results:

Factor analysis revealed three factors accounting for 60% of the variance in the Control group LIFE-UK ratings. After removing six items with low factor loadings, a shortened seven-item version with three factors accounted for 71.8% of the variance for the student questionnaire; Cronbach’s alpha indicated good internal reliability for this seven-item version of the student questionnaire. Factors were also derived for the teacher questionnaire. Teacher and student ratings were correlated when participant groups were combined. LIFE-UK ratings correlated weakly with some APD measures, providing some support for the questionnaire validity.

Conclusions:

The results support the use of either the 13- or 7-item student and the teacher versions of the LIFE-UK to evaluate classroom listening and functional consequences of APD. Factor analysis resulted in groupings of items reflecting differences in listening demands in quiet versus noise for the student questionnaire and attentional versus class participation demands for the teacher questionnaire. Further research is needed to confirm the robustness of these factors in other populations.
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Keywords: APD; LIFE-UK; auditory processing; child ratings; classroom listening; questionnaire; self-rating scales; teacher ratings

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 1, 2018

This article was made available online on July 20, 2017 as a Fast Track article with title: "Measuring Perceptions of Classroom Listening in Typically Developing Children and Children with Auditory Difficulties Using the LIFE-UK Questionnaire".

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