Variations in Intensity, Fundamental Frequency, and Voicing for Teachers in Occupational Versus Nonoccupational Settings

Hunter, Eric J.; Titze, Ingo R.
August 2010
Journal of Speech, Language & Hearing Research;Aug2010, Vol. 53 Issue 4, p862
Academic Journal
Purpose: In this study, the authors created a more concise picture of the vocal demands placed on teachers by comparing occupational voice use with nonoccupational voice use. Method: The authors used National Center for Voice and Speech voice dosimetry databank to calculate voicing percentage per hour as well as average dB SPL and fundamental frequency (F0). Occupational voice use (9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m., weekdays) and nonoccupational voice use (4:00 p.m.-10:00 p.m., weekends) were compared (57 teachers, 2 weeks each). Results: Five key findings were uncovered: (1) Similar to previous studies, occupational voicing percentage per hour is more than twice that of nonoccupational voicing; (2) teachers experienced a wide range of occupational voicing percentages per hour (30 ± 11% per hr); (3) average occupational voice was about 1 dB SPL louder than the nonoccupational voice and remained constant throughout the day; (4) occupational voice exhibited an increased pitch and trended upward throughout the day; and (5) some apparent gender differences were shown. Conclusions: Data regarding voicing percentages, F0, and dB SPL provide critical insight into teachers' vocal health. Further, because nonoccupational voice use is added to an already overloaded voice, it may add key insights into recovery patterns and should be the focus of future studies.


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