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The relationship between elementary school children's cognitive abilities and floor impact noise in wall-structure type apartment buildings

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The present research is conducted to demonstrate that the effects of stress from floor impact noise in wall-structure type apartment buildings in South Korea comprise an extensive and ongoing mental health and healthcare issue. Thus, the purpose of the present research is to examine the influence on children's cognitive functions in multi-story residential buildings after being exposed to long periods of floor impact noise. In accordance with this purpose, the participants were chosen among fourth-sixth graders in elementary schools who have been living in multi-story residential buildings for a long time (four years or more). In present research, various recognition function domains (i.e., CAT, CCTT, STROOP, K-CBCL), which are expected to be affected by long-term floor impact noise, were tested and the two groups' performance results were compared and analyzed. In present research, results supported the hypothesis that "children with exposure to noise transfer from other units have lower levels of attention, and academic performance, and lower scores on the assessment of verbal skills." Specifically, the group with the most exposure to floor impact noise showed lower scores in tests for cognitive flexibility, psychomotor speed, sequential processing skills, and prolonged visual attention skills, than comparison group. The results of affect and behavioral tests showed more internalizing and externalizing problems and defiant behavior problems in the noise exposure group than in the comparison group. The high score on defiant behavior is likely related to the high score on the survey item on parents' "constantly giving directions" to children living in apartments exposed to noise transfer. However, The present research with its survey and neuro-psychological tests, has the limitation that causality in the relationship could not be determined, although correlations among variables could be obtained.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 7, 2017

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  • The INTER-NOISE and NOISE-CON congress and conference proceedings is a collection of the presented papers. The papers are not peer reviewed and usually represent a synopsis of the material presented at the congress or conference.

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