Date of Award
Master of Science (MS)
Agricultural and Biological Engineering
Jessica E. Huber
Committee Member 1
Committee Member 2
Barbara SW Solomon
Teachers use their voice as a key part of their profession, often speaking at an increased loudness for multiple hours a day. This places teachers at a high risk for voice disorders, which costs the United States billions of dollars annually. Vocal fatigue, or worsening of the voice as the day progresses, is a common complaint from teachers. The present study investigated respiratory and laryngeal function in teachers pre and post a 1-hour vocal loading challenge. Six teachers and three student teachers (total of 9 subjects) produced four speech tasks and completed two perceptual ratings pre and post a 1-hour reading aloud vocal loading challenge in 70 dB multi-talker babble. Dependent variables included vocal tiredness and vocal effort ratings, cepstral peak prominence (CPP), low/high spectral ratio (L/H ratio), sound pressure level (SPL), utterance length (# of syllables), percent vital capacity expended per syllable (%VC/syllable), and lung volume initiation (%LVI-EEL), termination (%LVT-EEL), and excursion (%LVE). Following the vocal loading challenge, utterance length and SPL significantly increased, and %VC/syllable significantly decreased. %LVI-EEL increased post-vocal loading challenge, but it did not reach statistical significance. No laryngeal differences were found. These results suggest that subjects altered the respiratory system for three possible scenarios: to overcome perceived increase in difficulties for speech, to plan for longer utterances, or to overcome hyperventilation caused by the 1-hour vocal loading challenge.
Herndon, Nicole E., "Respiratory And Laryngeal Function In Teachers Pre- And Posta 1-Hour Vocal Loading Challenge" (2014). Open Access Theses. 335.