Voices of African Americans: Do We Need Clinical Norms? “Successful treatment of persons suffering from voice disorders depends upon the ability [of the clinician] to accurately assess the type and degree of vocal impairment and to monitor subsequent progress throughout treatment” (Bless, 1988, p. 136). This statement is particularly relevant for the voice clinician who works with African ... Article
Article  |   July 01, 2001
Voices of African Americans: Do We Need Clinical Norms?
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Ronald C. Jones
    Norfolk State University, Norfolk, VA
  • Robert Mayo
    University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC
Article Information
Articles
Article   |   July 01, 2001
Voices of African Americans: Do We Need Clinical Norms?
Perspectives on Communication Disorders and Sciences in Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Populations, July 2001, Vol. 7, 7-11. doi:10.1044/cds7.2.7
Perspectives on Communication Disorders and Sciences in Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Populations, July 2001, Vol. 7, 7-11. doi:10.1044/cds7.2.7
“Successful treatment of persons suffering from voice disorders depends upon the ability [of the clinician] to accurately assess the type and degree of vocal impairment and to monitor subsequent progress throughout treatment” (Bless, 1988, p. 136). This statement is particularly relevant for the voice clinician who works with African American clients and who relies upon norm referenced data to evaluate their vocal performance. Interestingly, such determinations about the vocal healthcare of African Americans are routinely conducted today, using normative data derived, almost exclusively, from studies of Caucasian males and females (Mayo & Grant, 1995).
The use of fundamental frequency as a measure of choice in vocal investigations dates back over 60 years. While fundamental frequency values obtained during oral reading are usually higher than those acquired from spontaneous speech, this difference is not significant (Fitch, 1990; Hollien, Hollien, & de Jong, 1997), suggesting equal efficiency between the two tasks in their clinical application.
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