Janet Olson, Ph.D.

Title: Professor
Pronouns: she/her/hers
Division: Allied Health and Communicative Disorders
Unit: Speech-Language Pathology
Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic
Office Location: Wirtz Hall 336
Office Phone: 815-753-1484
Office Fax: 815-753-9123
Email: janet@niu.edu
Office Hours: By appointment

Courses Taught

  • COMD 220: Introduction to Communicative Disorders
  • COMD 305: Language Development
  • COMD 421: Aural Rehabilitation
  • COMD 676: Organization and Planning of Speech, Language, Hearing Services


  • Ph.D., Northern Illinois University, Developmental Psychology
  • M.A., Northern Illinois University, Speech-Language Pathology
  • M.A., University of Illinois, Audiology


  • Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology


  • Licensed to practice speech-language pathology in the state of Illinois, Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR)
  • Licensed to practice audiology in the state of Illinois, Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR)
  • Teacher Licensure: SLP (Teaching), Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE)

Research Interests

  • Early language acquisition
  • Mother-infant interactions
  • Gesture use
  • Mothers' use of internal state language

Selected Publications

Olson, J. & Masur, E.F. (2020). Mothers' talk about perceptions, wants, feelings, and thoughts during play: General or specific relations to infants’ internal state vocabularies and gender? Language, Learning, and Development, 16(2), 196-209.

Olson, J. and Masur, E.F. (2019). Developmental changes in the frequency and complexity of mothers' internal state utterances across the second year. First Language, 39(4), 462-476.

Loy, M., Masur, E.F., and Olson, J. (2018). Developmental changes in infants' and mothers' pathways to achieving joint attention episodes. Infant Behavior and Development, 50:264-273.

Masur, E.F., Flynn, V., and Olson, J. (2016). Infants' background television exposure during play: Negative relations to the quantity and quality of mothers' speech and infants' vocabulary acquisition. First Language, 36(2), 109-123.

Masur, E.F., Flynn, V. and Olson, J. (2015). The presence of background television during young children's play. Journal of Children and Media. 9(3), 349-367.

Olson, J. and Masur, E.F. (2015). Mothers' labeling responses to infants' gestures predict vocabulary outcomes. Journal of Child Language. 42(6), 1289-1311.

Olson, J. and Masur, E.F. (2013). Mothers respond differently to infants' gestural versus nongestural communicative bids. First Language. 33(4), 372-387.

Olson, J. and Masur, E.F. (2012). Mothers respond differently to infants' familiar versus non-familiar imitations. Journal of Child Language, 39(4), 731-752

Olson, J. and Masur, E.F. (2011). Infants' gestures influence mothers' provision of object, action, and internal state labels. Journal of Child Language, 38, 1028-1054.

Masur, E. and Olson, J. (2008). Mothers' and infants' responses to their partners' spontaneous action and vocal/verbal imitation. Infant Behavior and Development, 31, 704-715.

Contact Us

College of Health and Human Sciences
Wirtz Hall 227

The Dean's Office is open for face-to-face meetings by appointment only.

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