Objective: Children's own ratings and opinions on their schools sound environments add important information on noise sources. They can also provide information on how to further improve and optimize children's learning situation in their classrooms. This study reports on the Swedish translation and application of an evidence-based questionnaire that measures how children perceive the acoustic environment of their school. Study Design: The Swedish version was made using a back-to-back translation. Responses on the questionnaire along with demographic data were collected for 149 children aged 9-13 years of age. Results: The Swedish translation of the questionnaire can be reduced from 93 to 27 items. The 27 items were distributed over five separate factors measuring different underlying constructs with high internal consistency and high inter-item correlations. The responses demonstrated that the dining hall/ canteen and the corridors are the school spaces with the poorest listening conditions. The highest annoyance was reported for tests and reading; next, student-generated sounds occur more frequently within the classroom than any sudden unexpected sounds, and finally, road traffic noise and teachers in adjoining classrooms are the most frequently occurring sounds from outside the classroom. Several demographic characteristics could be used to predict the outcome on these factors. Conclusion: The findings suggest that crowded spaces are most challenging; the children themselves generate most of the noise inside the classroom, but it is also common to hear road traffic noise and teachers in adjoining classrooms. The extent of annoyance that noise causes depends on the task but seems most detrimental in tasks, wherein the demands of verbal processing are higher. Finally, children with special support seem to report that they are more susceptible to noise than the typical child.
- hearing impairment