The Effects of Otitis Media on the Attention Skills of Day-Care-Attending Toddlers

Lynne V. Feagans, Elizabeth Kipp, Ingrid Blood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to try to understand whether otitis media (OM) affected toddlers' attention to language. The children in the sample were seen in their day care at 12 or 18 months of age in a book-reading task when they had OM and when they were well. Children's hearing was evaluated and they were given the Sequenced Inventory of Communication Development at 24 months of age. Over half of the sample could be classified as having chronic OM (about 5 months per year). Half of the children were in high-quality and half in low-quality day care. Results suggested that children with chronic OM in low-quality care showed the most negative effects on attention during episodes of otitis, with the children with chronic OM displaying less attention during book reading and twice as often off-task in comparison with the nonchronic children. Mothers rated children with chronic OM as more distractible and nonattentive. Language differences did not emerge among the groups.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)701-708
Number of pages8
JournalDevelopmental psychology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1994

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Demography
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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