Multiple-stimulus auditory steady-state responses (ASSRs) were assessed in 111 ears of 70 infants between -4 and 19 weeks of age at risk for hearing loss. ASSR thresholds obtained in infants with normal hearing (n = 69 ears) were compared with normal adult ASSR thresholds (n = 32 ears), and the linear relation between ASSR thresholds and behavioral thresholds (BHTs) was investigated in normal-hearing and hearing-impaired infants (n = 79 ears). Furthermore, latency estimates of significant responses to stimuli of 50 dB SPL were compared between the normal-hearing infants (n = 171 data points) and adults (n = 124 data points) and developmental changes in latency were evaluated within the infant group. Normal ASSR thresholds were on average 12 dB higher in infants compared with adults. Correlations between ASSR thresholds and BHTs were 0.75, 0.87, 0.87 and 0.79 for 500, 1000, 2000 and 4000 Hz, respectively. There was a significant effect of carrier frequency on ASSR latency, with higher carrier frequencies evoking shorter latencies in both infants and adults. Mean latencies in adults were 24.3 +/- 1.5, 22.3 +/- 1.1, 19.4 +/- 1.0 and 18.0 +/- 1.1 ms for 500, 1000, 2000 and 4000 Hz, respectively. Depending on the data fit of the infant latency estimates, mean latencies were 1.0 ms shorter or 9.5 ms longer in infants compared with adults. In infants, latencies were on average 2.0 ms longer in the youngest infant group (< or =0 weeks) relative to the oldest infant group (3-8 weeks). These age-related trends, together with other arguments, point to longer latencies in infants compared with adults. The results of this study are valuable as a clinical reference for interpreting ASSR results obtained in high-risk infants within their first months of life and indicate that developmental changes occur regarding ASSR latency.