The effect of voice quality and competing speakers in a passage comprehension task: performance in relation to cognitive functioning in children with normal hearing

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Objective: This study explores the effect of voice quality and competing speaker/-s on children’s performance in a passage comprehension task. Furthermore, it explores the interaction between passage comprehension and cognitive functioning. Methods: Forty-nine children (27 girls and 22 boys) with normal hearing (aged 7–12 years) participated. Passage comprehension was tested in six different listening conditions; a typical voice (non-dysphonic voice) in quiet, a typical voice with one competing speaker, a typical voice with four competing speakers, a dysphonic voice in quiet, a dysphonic voice with one competing speaker, and a dysphonic voice with four competing speakers. The children’s working memory capacity and executive functioning were also assessed. Results: The findings indicate no direct effect of voice quality on the children’s performance, but a significant effect of background listening condition. Interaction effects were seen between voice quality, background listening condition, and executive functioning. Conclusions: The children’s susceptibility to the effect of the dysphonic voice and the background listening conditions are related to the individual’s executive functions. The findings have several implications for design of interventions in language learning environments such as classrooms.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Other Health Sciences
  • General Language Studies and Linguistics


  • Background listening conditions, dysphonic voice, executive functioning, noise, working memory
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11-19
Number of pages9
JournalLogopedics Phoniatrics Vocology
Issue number1
Early online date2017 Mar 13
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Publication categoryResearch

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