Katie Micco

Defense Date


Graduation Date

Summer 2007


Immediate Access

Submission Type


Degree Name



Speech-Language Pathology (SLP)


Rangos School of Health Sciences

Committee Chair

Yang Chen

Committee Member

Mikael D. Z. Kimelman


habitual pitch, optimum pitch, preschool-aged children, voice


The purpose of this study is to determine if the habitual pitch (HP) produced by normally developing preschool-aged children was different across structured speech tasks and free play and to determine if the HP across the same tasks differed from optimum pitch (OP) produced by these children. HP measurements were performed on ten normally developing preschool-aged children (2.6 to 6 years), without a history of speech, language, or hearing impairments, during both structured speech tasks and free play. In addition, pitch glide tasks were used to determine each participant's modal F0 range from which OP was derived using a modified 25% Method recommended by Britto and Doyle (1990). The main finding of this study was a significant difference in HP during free play and OP for preschool-aged children. No other comparisons were found to be significantly different; although a considerable difference was noted between HP in conversation/story retell tasks and free play. Findings suggest that vocal usage of preschool-aged children during free play may be inefficient and putting these children at risk to develop voice disorders. Furthermore, findings recommend that acoustic data for the evaluation of young children's voices should be collected from both structured speech tasks and free play. Collecting HP and OP data on preschool-aged children evaluated for voice disorders will enable Speech-Language Pathologists to better understand how they are using their voices. If treatment is warranted for the targeted voice disorders, education of self-awareness and self-monitoring of vocal usage can be provided to the particular group of children, as well as their families and care givers.