2023 SLP Posters

Faculty Advisor

Carmen Russell



Download Full Text (234 KB)

Download References (96 KB)


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


Aaron, V. L., & Madison, C. L. (1991). A vocal hygiene program for high-school cheerleaders. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, 22(1), 287–290. https://doi.org/10.1044/0161-1461.2201.287

American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. (1993). Definitions of communication disorders and variations [Relevant Paper]. Available from www.asha.org/policy.

American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. (n.d.). Vocal cord nodules and polyps. American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. Retrieved February 10, 2023, from https://www.asha.org/public/speech/disorders/vocal-cord-nodules-and-polyps/

American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. (n.d.). Voice disorders. American Speech- Language-Hearing Association. Retrieved February 10, 2023, from https://www.asha.org/practice-portal/clinical-topics/voice-disorders/#collapse_1

Andrews M, Shank KH. Some observations concerning the cheering behavior of school-girl cheerleaders. Lang Speech Hear Serv Sch. 1983;14(3):150–156.

Aronson, A. E., & Bless, D. M. (2009). Clinical voice disorders. Thieme.

Boone, D., McFarlane, S., VonBerg, K., & Zraick, R. (2010). The voice and voice therapy. Allyn and Bacon

Colton RH, Casper JK, Leonard R. Understanding Voice Problems: A Physiological Perspective for Diagnosis and Treatment. 4. Baltimore, MD: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2011.

Lee, Linda & Stemple, Joseph & Glaze, Leslie & Kelchner, Lisa. (2004). Quick Screen for Voice and Supplementary Documents for Identifying Pediatric Voice Disorders. Language, speech, and hearing services in schools. 35. 308-19. 10.1044/0161-1461(2004/030).

McNamara, A. P., & Perry, C. K. (1994). Vocal abuse prevention practices. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, 25(2), 105–111. https://doi.org/10.1044/0161- 1461.2502.105

Morgan, R. (2017, April 24). Cheerleading has evolved into a billion-dollar business. New York Post. Retrieved February 10, 2023, from https://nypost.com/2017/04/24/cheerleading-has- evolved-into-a-billion-dollar-business/

Reich A, McHenry M, Keaton A. A survey of dysphonic episodes in high-school cheerleaders. Lang Speech Hear Serv Sch. 1986;17(1):63–71.

Stemple, J. C., Glaze, L. E., & Klaben, B. G. (2010). Clinical voice pathology: Theory and management (4th ed.). Plural.

Verdolini K, Ramig LO. Review: occupational risks for voice problems. Log Phon Vocol. 2001;26(1):37–46.

Vermeulen, R., du Toit, M., van Lierde, K., & van der Linde, J. (2022). The effect of vocal hygiene education programs on voice quality in professional voice users: A systematic review. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 65(12), 4700–4713. https://doi.org/10.1044/2022_jslhr-22-00097

Presentation Type

Poster Presentation


College of Education and Allied Health


Communication Disorders and Deaf Education

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Degree Program

Speech-Language Pathology

Publication Date

Spring 2023


Fontbonne University Archives


St. Louis, MO

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Prevalence of Voice Disorders in Cheerleaders: a Literature Review



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.