Section 53
Chapter 52,058

Child voice and noise: a pilot study of noise in day cares and the effects on 10 children's voice quality according to perceptual evaluation

McAllister, A.M.; Granqvist, S.; Sjölander, P.; Sundberg, J.

Journal of Voice Official Journal of the Voice Foundation 23(5): 587-593


ISSN/ISBN: 1873-4588
PMID: 18456454
DOI: 10.1016/j.jvoice.2007.10.017
Accession: 052057537

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The purpose of this investigation was to study children's exposure to background noise at the ears during a normal day at the day care center and also to relate this to a perceptual evaluation of voice quality. Ten children, from three day care centers, with no history of hearing and speech problems or frequent infections were selected as subjects. A binaural recording technique was used with two microphones placed on both sides of the subject's head, at equal distance from the mouth. A portable digital audio tape (DAT) recorder (Sony TCD-D 100, Stockholm, Sweden) was attached to the subject's waist. Three recordings were made for each child during the day. Each recording was calibrated and started with three repetitions of three sentences containing only sonorants. The recording technique allowed separate analyses of the background noise level and of the sound pressure level (SPL) of each subjects' own voice. Results showed a mean background noise level for the three day care centers at 82.6dBA Leq, ranging from 81.5 to 83.6dBA Leq. Day care center no. 2 had the highest mean value and also the highest value at any separate recording session with a mean background noise level of 85.4dBA Leq during the noontime recordings. Perceptual evaluation showed that the children attending this day care center also received higher values on the following voice characteristics: hoarseness, breathiness, and hyperfunction. Girls increased their loudness level during the day, whereas for boys no such change could be observed.

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