Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Date of Degree


Document Type

Capstone Project

Degree Name





Adrienne Rubinstein


Arlene Neuman

Subject Categories

Speech Pathology and Audiology


Older adults are reported to have more difficulty understanding degraded speech than younger adults. This may be due to greater recruitment of cognitive resources in adverse listening conditions. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between listening effort as measured by a dual task paradigm and cognitive abilities, specifically, working memory and selective attention, in normal-hearing older and younger adults in various background noise conditions. Results revealed that speech recognition scores were poorer for older adults, and speech recognition scores declined with decreasing signal-to-noise ratio. Stroop test scores suggested better selective attention ability in the younger participants, with no significant correlation to listening effort. No other significant results were found. Suggestions are made for future studies to continue investigating the effects of age and cognitive ability on listening effort.