Effects of Segmental and Suprasegmental Speech Perception on Reading in Pediatric Cochlear Implant Recipients

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: The aim of this study was to determine whether suprasegmental speech perception contributes unique variance in predictions of reading decoding and comprehension for prelingually deaf children using two devices, at least one of which is a cochlear implant (CI). Method: A total of 104, 5-to 9-year-old CI recipients completed tests of segmental perception (e.g., word recognition in quiet and noise, recognition of vowels and consonants in quiet), suprasegmental perception (e.g., talker and stress discrimination, nonword stress repetition, and emotion identification), and nonverbal intelligence. Two years later, participants completed standardized tests of reading decoding and comprehension. Using regression analyses, the unique contribution of suprasegmental perception to reading skills was determined after controlling for demographic characteristics and segmental perception performance. Results: Standardized reading scores of the CI recipients increased with nonverbal intelligence for both decoding and comprehension. Female gender was associated with higher comprehension scores. After controlling for gender and nonverbal intelligence, segmental perception accounted for approximately 4% and 2% of the variance in decoding and comprehension, respectively. After controlling for nonverbal intelligence, gender, and segmental perception, suprasegmental perception accounted for an extra 4% and 7% unique variance in reading decoding and reading comprehension, respectively. Conclusions: Suprasegmental perception operates independently from segmental perception to facilitate good reading outcomes for these children with CIs. Clinicians and educators should be mindful that early perceptual skills may have longterm benefits for literacy. Research on how to optimize suprasegmental perception, perhaps through hearing-device programming and/or training strategies, is needed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3583-3594
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2022


Dive into the research topics of 'Effects of Segmental and Suprasegmental Speech Perception on Reading in Pediatric Cochlear Implant Recipients'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this