There is a higher prevalence of voice disorders in cheerleaders in comparison to their peers. Consistent strain of the vocal folds over time has led to the concern of vocal abuse in young cheerleaders. Long term effects of vocal abuse include structural effects to the vocal folds. If these structural effects occur, cheerleaders may experience distorted vocal quality, pitch, volume, and resonance in addition to pain and irritability. The purpose of this poster is to bring awareness to the prevalence of voice disorders in cheerleaders. The importance of implementing a vocal hygiene program is also discussed. Supplemental tools to implement a vocal hygiene program are provided. This poster will also provide collaborative methods with other professionals. Vocal abuse is one of many ways a person can cause a voice disorder. Too much shouting and talking is just one way a person can abuse their voice. Considering cheerleading involves leading the crowd by yelling, cheerleaders are at a high risk of vocal abuse. There are approximately 3 million cheerleaders in the United States alone. Because cheerleading is such a popular activity, vocal hygiene programs need to be implemented into everyday practice. If they are not implemented, an epidemic of voice disorders could become present in our society. Implementing preventative measures will decrease the case load of speech-language pathologists in the future. The success of implementing a vocal hygiene program into cheerleading teams will be dependent on the collaboration and consistency of support staff including; athletic directors, athletic trainers, coaches, athletes, and parents.
Voice disorders, Cheerleaders, Vocal folds, Vocal abuse, Vocal hygiene program, Youth
Communication Sciences and Disorders | Speech and Hearing Science | Speech Pathology and Audiology
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College of Education and Allied Health
Communication Disorders and Deaf Education
Master of Science (MS)
Fontbonne University Archives
St. Louis, MO
McDowell, Natalie, "Prevalence of Voice Disorders in Cheerleaders: a Literature Review" (2023). 2023 SLP Posters. 32.
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