Research Article| Volume 27, ISSUE 5, P589-594, September 2013

Voice Performance Evaluation of Street Children From Aracaju, Brazil Using Perceptual-Auditory and Acoustic Analyses



      To compare the voice performance of children involved in street labor with regular children using perceptual-auditory and acoustic analyses.


      A controlled cross-sectional study was carried out on 7- to 10-year-old children of both genders. Children from both groups lived with their families and attended school regularly; however, child labor was evident in one group and not the other. A total of 200 potentially eligible street children, assisted by the Child Labor Elimination Programme (PETI), and 400 regular children were interviewed. Those with any vocal discomfort (106, 53% and 90, 22.5%) had their voices assessed for resonance, pitch, loudness, speech rate, maximum phonation time, and other acoustic measurements.


      A total of 106 street children (study group [SG]) and 90 regular children (control group [CG]) were evaluated. The SG group demonstrated higher oral and nasal resonance, reduced loudness, a lower pitch, and a slower speech rate than the CG. The maximum phonation time, fundamental frequency, and upper harmonics were higher in the SG than the CG. Jitter and shimmer were higher in the CG than the SG.


      Using perceptual-auditory and acoustic analyses, we determined that there were differences in voice performance between the two groups, with street children having better quality perceptual and acoustic vocal parameters than regular children. We believe that this is due to the procedures and activities performed by the Child Labor Elimination Program (PETI), which helps children to cope with their living conditions.

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