Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Communicative Disorders and Deaf Education

Committee Chair(s)

Stephanie Borrie


Stephanie Borrie


Tyson Barrett


Annalise Fletcher


The current study investigated whether adult listeners could learn to better understand adolescent dysarthric speech through a targeted familiarization training. A total of 42 adult listeners initially completed an intelligibility pretest with speech produced by an adolescent speaker with spastic dysarthria. Listeners then completed a perceptual familiarization phase that varied based on their assigned condition. Those in the dysarthria familiarization condition were exposed to the adolescent dysarthric speech with an orthographic transcript. Those in the control condition were exposed to neurotypical adolescent speech with an orthographic transcript. Participants then completed an intelligibility posttest, again with the adolescent dysarthric speech. Results revealed that listeners were statistically equal at pretest, and while all listeners showed intelligibility increases from pretest to posttest, listeners who received dysarthria familiarization achieved higher posttest intelligibility scores than those in the control condition. These results demonstrate that adults can indeed learn to better understand adolescent dysarthric speech through perceptual familiarization. This finding supports the possibility of a listener-based approach as an effective intervention for adolescents with dysarthria.

Available for download on Monday, May 01, 2028