Date of Award

Spring 2012

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Audiology (AuD)


School of Communication

First Advisor

Steven Madix


The deleterious effects of noise on hearing, comprehension, and academic development have been widely studied. In an effort to accurately observe the effects of noise on specific listening environments, researchers have relied on commercially available forms of background noise. However, these commercially available recordings only contain adult speech and background noises associated with adult environments. A commercially available form of background noise that represents the sounds associated with elementary and middle schools are not readily available. Given that much effort has gone into examining the effects of background noise on classroom performance, it would appear prudent that a background noise designed specifically for that population and environment become available. Therefore, the purpose of the present project was to observe and record noises from various elementary and middle schools for the production of an elementary school based background noise to accurately represent the unique sound environment found in elementary school settings. Recordings were taken from various environments within five elementary and middle schools and digitally mixed to produce an elementary school based background noise. The acoustic characteristics of the individual school recordings, along with the commercially available recordings and the elementary school based background noise produced in this project are compared and clinical implications are discussed.