Aircraft noise and the health and behavior of children

Date of Original Version

Fall 1980


Conference Proceeding

Abstract or Description

The subjects were children with normal hearing attending the four noisiest elementary schools under a busy urban air corridor (LAX) and children attending three similar (matched on social class and race) quiet schools. Children were tested on the same measures twice with a one year interval between sessions. Cross‐sectional data from the first session indicated that noisy school children had higher blood pressures than quiet school children. Noisy school children were also more likely to fail on a cognitive task and more likely to give up before the time to complete the task had elapsed. Longitudinal data were used to determine whether children adapt to the aircraft noise over the one‐year period and to assess the effectiveness of noise abatement interventions introduced in a number of noise impacted classrooms. Additional cross‐sectional data from the first session provided further information on the utility of noise abatement. There was little evidence for adaptation to noise over the one‐year period. Abatement had small ameliorative effects on cognitive performance, children's ability to hear their teachers and school achievement. [Work supported by NSF and NIEHS.]


Published In

J. Acoust. Soc, 68, S90.