The Relation of Externalizing Behavior and Central Auditory Processing Deficits in 4-Year-Old Children


The integrity of the central auditory system is a fundamental condition for language development. Good language development is related to good academic performance and adaptive behavior. Therefore, the evaluation of auditory processing along with behavior as well as the verification of a possible relationship between them can indicate possible ways on how to deal with both problem behavior and difficulties in language. 187 parents of preschoolers (mean age 3.8 years) were interviewed individually and asked to fill in the CBCL (Child Behavior Checklist), for ages 1(1/2) to 5, providing a behavioral profile concerning externalizing and internalizing behavior. Children were assessed regarding central auditory processing skills through the Simplified Assessment of the Auditory Processing—SAAP (Pereira & Schochat, 1997) including Sound Source Localization (SSL); Non-Verbal Sound Sequence Memory (NVSSM); Verbal Sounds Sequence Memory (VSSM). To investigate a possible association between central auditory processing skills and behavioral problems, all the scores in CBCL and the total scores of Simplified Auditory Processing Assessment were correlated with functional parameters using the Spearman rank correlation. The behaviors “acts too young for age”; “constantly seeks help”; “does not eat well”; “does not seem to feel guilty after misbehaving”; “easily frustrated”; “nervous movements or twitching”; “nervous, highstrung, or tense”; “poorly coordinated or clumsy”; “repeatedly rocks head or body”; “stares into space and seems preoccupied”, “sulks a lot” and “wanders away” were correlated with poor auditory processing skills. This indicates that the school staff along with health professionals should provide informational counseling regarding, not only the communicative difficulties associated with a poor performance on central auditory processing skills but also the psychosocial difficulties that these children may be facing.

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Varanda, C. , Mendes, E. , Campina, N. , de Marcos Crescenti Aulicino, M. , Nascimento, R. , Marczak, C. , Grilo, K. , Diogo, E. , Mello, F. , Corrêa, R. and Fernandes, F. (2015) The Relation of Externalizing Behavior and Central Auditory Processing Deficits in 4-Year-Old Children. Psychology, 6, 1589-1593. doi: 10.4236/psych.2015.613156.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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