Conversation repair and adult acquired hearing impairment

Lind, Simon Christopher (2006). Conversation repair and adult acquired hearing impairment PhD Thesis, School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, The University of Queensland.

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Author Lind, Simon Christopher
Thesis Title Conversation repair and adult acquired hearing impairment
School, Centre or Institute School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2006
Thesis type PhD Thesis
Supervisor Louise Hickson
Norman Erber
Total pages 296
Collection year 2006
Language eng
Subjects L
321025 Rehabilitation and Therapy - Hearing and Speech
730111 Hearing, vision, speech and their disorders
Abstract/Summary Adults with acquired hearing impairment report that miscommunications and their repair occur with such frequency and severity that they adversely affect their enjoyment of and participation in daily conversation. As a result repair behaviours have become targets of rehabilitation services. However, little is known of the patterns of repair as they are influenced by an acquired hearing impairment, particularly the reliability and validity of the clinical assessment of these behaviours. This thesis reports on three studies into repairs that arose in audio-recordings of free conversation between hearing impaired adults and their chosen frequent communication partners, using the analytic method of Conversation Analysis. The aims of the research were to establish what types of repair were more likely to arise in conversations involving adults with acquired hearing impairment, how these were resolved and whether their occurrence in clinical samples provided reliable and valid images of the same behaviour arising in everyday interactions. In the first study, seven adults with severe or greater acquired hearing impairment each undertook a 20-minute free conversation with their chosen frequent communication partner. Analyses focused on the repair sequences occurring across speaker turns. Only the other-initiated self-repairs initiated by the hearing impaired participant occurred significantly more often than the same sequence initiated by the communication partners. No difference was found in the number of turns taken to resolve repairs when classified by hearing status of the speaker of the repair initiator. Qualitative analysis indicated that the location of the repair initiator in the immediate vicinity of the miscommunicated portion of talk, rather than the content of the repair initiator, provided a cue to the conversation partner about the location of the trouble source. Results suggest certain repair sequences are more likely to be affected by the presence of an acquired hearing impairment than others and that partners work together to efficiently resolve miscommunications. In order to assess the reliability of clinical sampling of repair, four couples, meeting the same criteria as in study one, each undertook four 20-minute conversations over two visits to the clinic in study two. Goodness-of-fit analysis across the four samples for each dyad indicated substantial variation in the number of repairs between dyads, but when samples recorded on the same visit were combined, the resulting 40-minute samples demonstrated substantially greater sampling reliability. In study three, the same four couples who participated in study two audio-recorded two to three hours of conversation in their homes in order to assess the validity of clinical samples. Similar proportions of repairs were initiated in the clinic and home recordings both by the hearing impaired adults and their frequent communication partners. In summary, these two studies indicated that clinical sampling of repair provided useful, reliable and valid images of the same behaviour as it occurred in everyday settings. Together, the three studies demonstrated that acquired hearing impairment influenced the frequency and conduct of certain repair behaviours, and that familiar communication partners successfully used various strategies to resolve miscommunications. These results provide a basis for clinical assessment and intervention for these behaviours.

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Created: Fri, 21 Nov 2008, 14:57:03 EST