Impact of Four Nonclinical Speaking Environments on a Child’s Fundamental Frequency and Voice Level: A Preliminary Case Study Purpose The aim of this study was to investigate how a child’s fundamental frequency (F0) and estimated voice level (dB SPL) change in distinct speaking environments. Method A child age 5;7 (years;months) wore a National Center for Voice and Speech voice dosimeter for 4 days. The 2 parameters ... Case Study
Case Study  |   July 01, 2012
Impact of Four Nonclinical Speaking Environments on a Child’s Fundamental Frequency and Voice Level: A Preliminary Case Study
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Eric J. Hunter
    National Center for Voice and Speech, The University of Utah, Salt Lake City
  • Angela E. Halpern
    National Center for Voice and Speech, University of Colorado, Denver
  • Jennifer L. Spielman
    National Center for Voice and Speech, University of Colorado, Denver
  • Disclosure Statement
    Disclosure Statement×
    The child who was observed during data collection was the son of the first author.
    The child who was observed during data collection was the son of the first author.×
  • Correspondence to Eric Hunter: eric.hunter@utah.edu
  • Editor: Marilyn Nippold
    Editor: Marilyn Nippold×
  • Associate Editor: Ann Packman
    Associate Editor: Ann Packman×
Article Information
School-Based Settings / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Case Study
Case Study   |   July 01, 2012
Impact of Four Nonclinical Speaking Environments on a Child’s Fundamental Frequency and Voice Level: A Preliminary Case Study
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, July 2012, Vol. 43, 253-263. doi:10.1044/0161-1461(2011/11-0002)
History: Received January 6, 2011 , Revised April 26, 2011 , Accepted October 16, 2011
 
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, July 2012, Vol. 43, 253-263. doi:10.1044/0161-1461(2011/11-0002)
History: Received January 6, 2011; Revised April 26, 2011; Accepted October 16, 2011
Web of Science® Times Cited: 2

Purpose The aim of this study was to investigate how a child’s fundamental frequency (F0) and estimated voice level (dB SPL) change in distinct speaking environments.

Method A child age 5;7 (years;months) wore a National Center for Voice and Speech voice dosimeter for 4 days. The 2 parameters measured were F0 and dB SPL. During analysis, the F0 and dB SPL data were segmented to represent 4 typical speaking environments of school-age children: (a) free-play (2.5 hr), (b) preschool (3 hr), (c) home (10.7 hr), and (d) adult (5.6 hr). Unique to this study, the child’s voice data were presented as voice use profiles.

Results The child’s F0 and dB SPL patterns within an adult environment were similar to that found in the literature but showed much greater variation in the free-play environment. The preschool environment elicited speech of a lower modal F0 than did the home, but a higher median and mean F0, as well as a somewhat elevated mean dB SPL.

Conclusion The child produced significantly different F0 and dB SPL patterns across 4 different speaking environments. If future studies substantiate this pattern, clinicians and researchers must be aware of this difference when working with children.

Acknowledgments
Funding for this work was provided in part by the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, Grant 1R01 DC04224, P.I. Ingo R. Titze. The authors would like to thank the research team (both past and present) at the National Center for Voice and Speech, with many supporting roles (Dosimeter Team: Ingo Titze, Jan Švec, Peter Popolo, Andrew Starr, Albert Worley), and to Laura M. Hunter for literature search and technical review of the document.
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