Age Differences in Voice Evaluation: From Auditory-Perceptual Evaluation to Social Interactions Purpose The factors that influence the evaluation of voice in adulthood, as well as the consequences of such evaluation on social interactions, are not well understood. Here, we examined the effect of listeners' age and the effect of talker age, sex, and smoking status on the auditory-perceptual evaluation of voice, ... Research Article
Research Article  |   February 15, 2018
Age Differences in Voice Evaluation: From Auditory-Perceptual Evaluation to Social Interactions
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Catherine L. Lortie
    Département de Réadaptation, Faculté de Médecine, Université Laval, Quebec City, Canada
    Département d’Ophtalmologie, d’Otorhinolaryngologie et de Chirurgie Cervico-Faciale, Faculté de Médecine, Université Laval, Quebec City, Canada
    CERVO Brain Research Centre, Quebec City, Canada
  • Isabelle Deschamps
    Département de Réadaptation, Faculté de Médecine, Université Laval, Quebec City, Canada
    CERVO Brain Research Centre, Quebec City, Canada
  • Matthieu J. Guitton
    Département d’Ophtalmologie, d’Otorhinolaryngologie et de Chirurgie Cervico-Faciale, Faculté de Médecine, Université Laval, Quebec City, Canada
    CERVO Brain Research Centre, Quebec City, Canada
  • Pascale Tremblay
    Département de Réadaptation, Faculté de Médecine, Université Laval, Quebec City, Canada
    CERVO Brain Research Centre, Quebec City, Canada
  • Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.
    Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.×
  • Correspondence to Pascale Tremblay: pascale.tremblay@fmed.ulaval.ca
  • Editor: Julie Liss
    Editor: Julie Liss×
  • Associate Editor: Nelson Roy
    Associate Editor: Nelson Roy×
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Voice Disorders / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Speech / Research Articles
Research Article   |   February 15, 2018
Age Differences in Voice Evaluation: From Auditory-Perceptual Evaluation to Social Interactions
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, February 2018, Vol. 61, 227-245. doi:10.1044/2017_JSLHR-S-16-0202
History: Received May 20, 2016 , Revised December 1, 2016 , Accepted October 15, 2017
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, February 2018, Vol. 61, 227-245. doi:10.1044/2017_JSLHR-S-16-0202
History: Received May 20, 2016; Revised December 1, 2016; Accepted October 15, 2017

Purpose The factors that influence the evaluation of voice in adulthood, as well as the consequences of such evaluation on social interactions, are not well understood. Here, we examined the effect of listeners' age and the effect of talker age, sex, and smoking status on the auditory-perceptual evaluation of voice, voice-related psychosocial attributions, and perceived speech tempo. We also examined the voice dimensions affecting the propensity to engage in social interactions.

Method Twenty-five younger (age 19–37 years) and 25 older (age 51–74 years) healthy adults participated in this cross-sectional study. Their task was to evaluate the voice of 80 talkers.

Results Statistical analyses revealed limited effects of the age of the listener on voice evaluation. Specifically, older listeners provided relatively more favorable voice ratings than younger listeners, mainly in terms of roughness. In contrast, the age of the talker had a broader impact on voice evaluation, affecting auditory-perceptual evaluations, psychosocial attributions, and perceived speech tempo. Some of these talker differences were dependent upon the sex of the talker and his or her smoking status. Finally, the results also show that voice-related psychosocial attribution was more strongly associated with the propensity of the listener to engage in social interactions with a person than auditory-perceptual dimensions and perceived speech tempo, especially for the younger adults.

Conclusions These results suggest that age has a broad influence on voice evaluation, with a stronger impact for talker age compared with listener age. While voice-related psychosocial attributions may be an important determinant of social interactions, perceived voice quality and speech tempo appear to be less influential.

Supplemental Materials https://doi.org/10.23641/asha.5844102

Acknowledgments
This study was supported by grants from the “Fonds de la Recherche du Québec Société-Culture” and the “Fonds de la Recherche du Québec en Santé” to Pascale Tremblay and from a graduate scholarship from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada to Catherine L. Lortie. Pascale Tremblay and Matthieu J. Guitton hold career awards from the “Fonds de Recherche du Québec–Santé.” The authors thank all the participants.
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