Korean Mothers’ Speech to Young Children with Cochlear Implants in Parent-Child Interaction

Heesun Park, Youngmee Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: Infant-directed speech is the particular form of spontaneous speech observed in interactions between parents and their young children. There are reasons to believe that infant-directed speech may help to make language acquisition easier for young children. Thus, this study investigates the effects of cochlear implantation on mothers’ speech to their young children. Methods: Fourteen children with cochlear implants (CIs) and 14 agematched children with normal hearing (NH), aged 12 to 35 months, participated in this study. We recorded mothers’ utterances through a parent-child interaction task. Mothers’ speech features such as fundamental frequency, utterance length, speech rate, and pause duration were measured across speech samples. Results: There were no significant differences between the CI and NH groups in fundamental frequency, utterance length, and pause duration variables. However, the speech of mothers in the CI group was significantly slower than that of the NH group. Conclusion: Mothers used typical infant-directed speech styles when speaking to their children with CIs. Additionally, mothers of the CI group tended to speak more slowly than mothers of the NH group in the parent-child interactions. Given that the language skills of children with CIs are significantly lower than those of children with NH in this study, mothers of the CI group may speak to their children at a slower rate than those of the NH group to provide their linguistic input more efficiently. These findings suggest that children with CIs are exposed to infant-directed speech with similar acoustic qualities as children with NH.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)862-872
Number of pages11
JournalCommunication Sciences and Disorders
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023, Korean Academy of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0) which permits unrestricted noncommercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. All rights reserved.


  • Cochlear implants
  • Infant-directed speech
  • Mothers
  • Young children
  • 달팽이관이식
  • 어린이중심언어
  • 어머니
  • 엄마와아기의상호작용
  • 유아


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