Article/Report  |   June 2008
Age-Related Changes to Speech Breathing With Increased Vocal Loudness
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Jessica E. Huber
    Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN
  • John Spruill, III
    Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN
  • Contact author: Jessica E. Huber, Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences, Purdue University, 1353 Heavilon Hall, 500 Oval Drive, West Lafayette, IN 47907-2038. E-mail: jhuber@purdue.edu.
Special Populations / Older Adults & Aging / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Speech
Article/Report   |   June 2008
Age-Related Changes to Speech Breathing With Increased Vocal Loudness
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research June 2008, Vol.51, 651-668. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2008/047)
History: Accepted 17 Sep 2007 , Received 03 Aug 2006 , Revised 29 Mar 2007
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research June 2008, Vol.51, 651-668. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2008/047)
History: Accepted 17 Sep 2007 , Received 03 Aug 2006 , Revised 29 Mar 2007

Purpose: The present study examines the effect of normal aging on respiratory support for speech when utterance length is controlled.

Method: Fifteen women (M = 71 years of age) and 10 men (M = 73 years of age) produced 2 sentences of different lengths in 4 loudness conditions while respiratory kinematics were measured. Measures included those related to lung volume and chest wall movements.

Results: Data from the older adults were compared with previously published data from 30 young adults. A significant Age × Sex effect was demonstrated. Older men produced speech at higher lung volumes than younger men. No significant differences existed between older and younger women. Older adults tended to use more abdominal movement in loud speech than younger adults, especially when talking in noise. Some of the mechanisms used by the older adults to support increased loudness in response to the cues differed from those used by the younger adults. Age-related differences were larger when participants produced the longer utterance as compared with the shorter one.

Conclusions: Reduced chest wall compliance, pulmonary elastic recoil, and laryngeal closure may explain the findings. These data can be used to help distinguish normal age-related changes from disease-related changes.

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