Honors Theses

Date of Award


Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis


Communication Sciences and Disorders

First Advisor

Gregory Snyder

Relational Format



As technology has advanced, the popularity of personal listening devices (PLD) has become widespread among the millennial generation. It is normal in today's culture to see members of the millennial generation using their PLDs in most any setting. Due to this growth in popularity and usage of PLDs, there is an increased and relatively undocumented opportunity for noise induced hearing loss (NIHL) among the people in the millennial generation. In order to research the effects of this shift in culture relative to PLD usage, college-aged members of the millennial generation were asked to participate in a study via word of mouth advertising. The participants completed a survey that recorded their personal demographics, PLD usage habits, knowledge about NIHL, and attitudes toward NIHL resulting from PLD usage. After the survey, researchers quantifiably measured the participants' PLD acoustic intensity using an Audioscan Verifit machine. The survey and PLD intensity data are reported in the text. Analysis of these data revealed that study participants are relatively successful in estimating their own listening intensity. Also, these data recorded a positive relationship between age and intensity; as age increased, the intensity of music increased as well. Results indicate that average measured intensity and reported personal usage habits suggest that users are not at risk for NIHL relative to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards. However, an analysis of peak intensities suggests that approximately 40% of participants may be at risk for NIHL.

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