Relationships among personality, daily speaking voice use, and phonotrauma in adult female singers

Laura E. Toles, Nelson Roy, Stephanie Sogg, Katherine L. Marks, Andrew J. Ortiz, Annie B. Fox, Daryush D. Mehta, Robert E. Hillman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Purpose: This study sought to determine whether personality traits related to extraversion and impulsivity are more strongly associated with singers with nodules compared to vocally healthy singers and to understand the relationship between personality and the types of daily speaking voice use. Method: Weeklong ambulatory voice recordings and personality inventories were obtained for 47 female singers with nodules and 47 vocally healthy female singers. Paired t tests investigated trait differences between groups. Relationships between traits and weeklong speaking voice measures (vocal dose, sound pressure level [SPL], neck surface acceleration magnitude [NSAM], fundamental frequency, cepstral peak prominence [CPP], and the ratio of the first two harmonic magnitudes [H1–H2]) were examined using pairwise Pearson r coefficients. Multiple regressions were performed to estimate voice parameters that correlated with two or more traits. Results: Singers with nodules scored higher on the Social Potency scale (reflecting a tendency toward social dominance) and lower on the Control scale (reflecting impulsivity) compared to the vocally healthy singers. In vocally healthy singers, vocal dose measures were positively correlated with a combination of Wellbeing (i.e., happiness) and Social Potency, mean SPL was positively correlated with Wellbeing, SPL variability was positively correlated with Social Potency and negatively with Harm Avoidance, and CPP mean was positively correlated with Wellbeing. Singers with nodules had a negative correlation between NSAM skewness and Social Potency. Both groups had negative correlations between H1 –H2 mean and Social Potency and Social Closeness. Conclusions: Singers with nodules are more socially dominant and impulsive than vocally healthy singers. Personality traits are related to daily speaking voice use, particularly in vocally healthy singers. Individuals with higher levels of traits related to happiness and social dominance and lower Harm Avoidance tended to speak more, with higher laryngeal forces, with more SPL variability, and with more pressed glottal closure, which could increase risk of phonotrauma.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4580-4598
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2021
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Speech and Hearing


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