Comparison of fundamental frequency in normal-hearing children and children with various severities of hearing loss

Document Type : Original Articles


1 MSc Student in Speech Therapy, School of Rehabilitation Sciences, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

2 MSc in Speech Therapy, Academic Member, School of Rehabilitation Sciences, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

3 PhD Student in Speech Therapy, Academic Member, Ahvaz Jundishapur University of Medical Sciences, Ahwaz, Iran

4 PhD in Biostatics, Academic Member, University of Social Welfare and Rehabilitation Sciences, Tehran, Iran



Introduction: Hearing is considered as an important sense in closed-loop control and is one of the crucial factors affecting voice production due to its role in providing the needed feedback for voice control. In the absence of auditory feedback, as in individuals with hearing loss, the motor control for the muscles associated with phonation and speech production is negatively affected. As a result, they are not able to regulate their fundamental frequency, which in return leads to impaired speech intelligibility. The purpose of this study was to compare the acoustic parameter F0 in children with different degrees of hearing loss with the same parameter in their normal peers.Materials and Methods: The voice samples of 28 children with hearing loss (moderate, moderate to severe, severe and profound) and 28 normal hearing children with the age range of 7 to 9 years were recorded. All participants were monolingual speakers of Farsi. The examinees were asked to produce the vowel /a/ for 3 times. The average F0 was calculated for each examinee using PRAAT software (version 5.3.13). One-way ANOVA test was conducted to examine the differences in F0 values across different groups and the post-hoc Dunnett’s test was employed for evaluating the statistical significance of the differences observed.Results: The highest and lowest values of F0 belonged to the subjects with profound hearing loss and those with normal hearing respectively. Results of ANOVA test revealed that the mean values of F0 were different in the studied groups (P = 0.025) and these differences were statistically significant as children with profound hearing loss and the control group were compared (P = 0.005).Conclusion: The mean value of F0 increases as the severity of hearing loss increase. This condition might be accounted for by a mechanism for compensating the lack of auditory feedback. The findings of the current research indicate that the more severe the hearing loss, the more average F0 would be expected; but further research is required to delineate a cut-off point between the normal and disease-induced voice samples.Keywords: Hearing loss, Fundamental frequency, Acoustic analysis

  • Receive Date: 04 May 2012
  • Revise Date: 19 April 2024
  • Accept Date: 22 May 2022