Article/Report  |   August 2006
Perception of Individuals With Voice Disorders by Monolingual English, Bilingual Cantonese–English, and Bilingual Russian–English Women
 
Author Notes
  • Contact author: Evelyn P. Altenberg, Department of Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences, Davison 106, Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY 11549. E-mail: sphepa@hofstra.edu
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Voice Disorders / Special Populations / Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / Speech
Article/Report   |   August 2006
Perception of Individuals With Voice Disorders by Monolingual English, Bilingual Cantonese–English, and Bilingual Russian–English Women
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 2006, Vol. 49, 879-887. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2006/063)
History: Received January 6, 2005 , Revised May 6, 2005 , Accepted November 22, 2005
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 2006, Vol. 49, 879-887. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2006/063)
History: Received January 6, 2005; Revised May 6, 2005; Accepted November 22, 2005
Web of Science® Times Cited: 5

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to examine the attitudes of monolingual English, bilingual Cantonese–English, and bilingual Russian–English speakers toward individuals with voice disorders.

Method: In a mixed experimental design, a total of 30 older and 29 younger female listeners from the 3 language groups rated the voices of 10 females, each with a mild, moderate, or severe voice disorder or with no voice disorder. A semantic differential scale was used to rate the speakers on 21 attributes.

Results: Results indicate that the perception of individuals became increasingly negative as the severity of the disorder increased. Results also indicate that Cantonese–English bilinguals rated the individuals with severe voice disorders more negatively than did English monolinguals and that the language groups differed in their ratings for the attributes of beautiful,lovable,clean, and young. There was no overall effect of age of listener.

Conclusion: The study demonstrates that although the language groups were uniform in ascribing more negative attributes to individuals as severity of the disorder increased, there were also significant differences between the groups. Exploration of these issues provides information useful to clinicians in setting priorities for intervention that take into account individuals' backgrounds as well as clinical factors.

Acknowledgments
We appreciate the help of our research assistants, Vanessa Chan, Kirsten Reyes, and Michelle Vladimirov. Thanks also to our statistics consultants, Michael Barnes and David Livert. Portions of this article were presented at the Annual Convention of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, November 18–20, 2004, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. This research was partially funded by a Hofstra College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Research and Development Grant.
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