Voice Loudness and Gender Effects on Jitter and Shimmer in Healthy Adults Purpose The aim of this study was to investigate voice loudness and gender effects on jitter and shimmer in healthy young adults because previous descriptions have been inconsistent. Method Fifty-seven healthy adults (28 women, 29 men) aged 20–40 years were included in this cross-sectional single-cohort study. Three phonations ... Research Article
Research Article  |   October 01, 2008
Voice Loudness and Gender Effects on Jitter and Shimmer in Healthy Adults
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Meike Brockmann
    University Hospital Zurich, Switzerland
  • Claudio Storck
    University Hospital Zurich, Switzerland
  • Paul N. Carding
    Freeman Hospital, Newcastle upon Tyne, Great Britain
  • Michael J. Drinnan
    Freeman Hospital, Newcastle upon Tyne, Great Britain
  • Contact author: Meike Brockmann, Head of Speech Pathology Section, Clinic of Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, University Hospital Zurich, Frauenklinikstrasse 24, 8091 Zürich, Switzerland. E-mail: meike.brockmann@usz.ch.
  • Claudio Storck is now with the Department of Phoniatrics, Clinic of Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, University Hospital Basel, Switzerland.
    Claudio Storck is now with the Department of Phoniatrics, Clinic of Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, University Hospital Basel, Switzerland.×
Article Information
Hearing & Speech Perception / Acoustics / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Speech / Research Articles
Research Article   |   October 01, 2008
Voice Loudness and Gender Effects on Jitter and Shimmer in Healthy Adults
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, October 2008, Vol. 51, 1152-1160. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2008/06-0208)
History: Received November 13, 2006 , Revised June 5, 2007 , Accepted November 29, 2007
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, October 2008, Vol. 51, 1152-1160. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2008/06-0208)
History: Received November 13, 2006; Revised June 5, 2007; Accepted November 29, 2007
Web of Science® Times Cited: 40

Purpose The aim of this study was to investigate voice loudness and gender effects on jitter and shimmer in healthy young adults because previous descriptions have been inconsistent.

Method Fifty-seven healthy adults (28 women, 29 men) aged 20–40 years were included in this cross-sectional single-cohort study. Three phonations of /a/ at soft, medium, and loud individual loudness were recorded and analyzed using PRAAT software (P. Boersma & D. Weeninkk, 2006). Voice loudness and gender effects on measured sound pressure level, fundamental frequency, jitter, and shimmer were assessed through the use of descriptive and inferential (analysis of variance) statistics.

Results Jitter and shimmer significantly increased with decreasing voice loudness, especially in phonations below 75 dB and 80 dB. In soft and medium phonation, men were generally louder and showed significantly less shimmer. However, men had higher jitter measures when phonating softly. Gender differences in jitter and shimmer at medium loudness may be mainly linked to different habitual voice loudness levels.

Conclusion This pragmatic study shows significant voice loudness and gender effects on perturbation. In clinical assessment, requesting phonations above 80 dB at comparable loudness between genders would enhance measurement reliability. However, voice loudness and gender effects in other age groups, in disordered voices, or when a minimal loudness is requested should be further investigated.

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