Family-level executive functioning and at-risk pediatric hearing loss outcomes

Andrew Blank, Rachael Frush Holt, David B. Pisoni, William G. Kronenberger, Frederick Erick Gallun, Yi Shen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Purpose: Using a new measure of family-level executive functioning (EF; the Family Characteristics Scale [FCS]), we investigated associations between family-level EF, spoken language, and neurocognitive skills in children with hearing loss (HL), compared to children with normal hearing. Method: Parents of children with HL (n = 61) or children with normal hearing (n = 65) completed the FCS-Parent, and clinicians evaluated families using the FCS-Examiner. Children completed an age-appropriate version of the Concepts and Following Directions subtest of the Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamentals and the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test-Fourth Edition. Child EF was assessed via the parent report Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function. Results: Two higher order components were derived from FCS subscales: Family Inhibition and Family Organization. For both samples, Family Inhibition was positively associated with child inhibition, child shifting, and child language comprehension skills. Family Organization was differentially associated with child inhibition, working memory, and planning/organization skills across the samples. Additionally, Family Inhibition was associated with child planning and organization skills for children with HL. Conclusions: Results support the FCS as a measure of familylevel EF. Family-level inhibition related to better child inhibition, flexibility/shifting, and language comprehension across both samples and to better planning and organization skills in children with HL. As children with HL experienced greater difficulties in EF, families demonstrated greater organization, possibly as a compensatory measure. Results suggest that inhibition and organization at a family level may be important targets for the development of novel interventions to promote EF and language outcomes for children with HL.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)218-229
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Speech and Hearing


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