Adolescents' self-perception of voice

Anna Alice Figueirêdo de Almeida Mara Behlau About the authors

PURPOSE: To verify the self-perception of adolescents concerning their own voice. METHODS: A questionnaire regarding voice and communication was applied to 80 volunteer adolescents, 58 female (72.5%) and 22 male (27.5%), with ages ranging from 10 to 19 years, participants of the Program of Adolescent Healthcare of the State of São Paulo. Subjects answered the questionnaire themselves, and data were statistically analyzed. RESULTS: The main age range was from 16 to 17 years (23 - 28.8%). Half of the subjects (41 - 51.3%) reported positive vocal characteristics, classifying it as normal (42 - 52.5%); in addition, 33 (41.3%) did not detect vocal modifications during adolescence, demonstrating satisfaction with their production (65 - 81.3%), referring that their voices matched their personality (27 - 33.8%) and, therefore, they did not wish to modify it (61 - 76,3%). The three most frequently reported negative vocal habits were: yelling (30 - 37.5%), drinking cold beverages (20 - 32.5%), and smoking (22 - 27.5%). In turn, the subjects reported as beneficial vocal habits: drinking water (31 - 38.8%), singing (30 - 37.5%) and not yelling (20 - 25%). Young men reported vocal problems related to pitch (54.5%, p<0.001), and young women, to loudness (32.1%, p<0.001). These problems were pointed out as impairing factors to their communication. CONCLUSION: The perception of adolescents about their voice and communication interferes in their relationship with others, in their way of thinking and acting, and the way they interact with reality and the society.

Communication; Voice; Voice disorders; Adolescent; Self concept

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