First Advisor

Mary T. Withers

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.) in Speech and Hearing Sciences


Speech Communication


Voice frequency



Physical Description

1 online resource (70 p.)


Acoustical analyses have been utilized to ascertain the functional status of the laryngeal mechanism for clinical management of communication disorders (Gilbert and Weismer, 1974). In particular, the modal frequency level (MFL), defined as the fundamental frequency most often used by an individual in the act of spontaneous speech (Travis, 1971), is one measurement used to determine if a person's pitch level is adequate. Two other pitch measurements used in the voice assessment are the maximum frequency range (MFR) and the optimum pitch level (OPL). Information is needed to provide guidelines for pitch levels as part of the voice evaluation for adult females of different ages. It is not clear from the literature if there is a statistically significant MFL difference between White female nonsmokers and cigarette smokers as determined by different phonatory tasks. The purpose of this investigation was to compare the MFLs of nonsmoking and cigarette smoking White females between the ages of forty and fifty years. The primary research question was: Does smoking significantly affect the modal frequency level of forty to fifty year old White females as compared with forty to fifty year old White females who do not smoke?


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