Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Health and Rehabilitation Sciences


Dr. Philip C. Doyle


The purpose of this study was to evaluate the communication apprehension (CA) of adolescents with velopharyngeal insufficiency (VPI). Phase one of the study involved completion of the MECA, a measure of CA, by 28 adolescents (14 from the VPI group and 14 from the control group) followed by voice recordings of speech phrases. Phase two of the study involved conducting a perceptual assessment of the speech samples provided by participants in phase one using the ACPA. Phase one and phase two of the study were conducted to answer two experimental questions: 1) Do adolescents with VPI experience higher levels of CA than adolescents who do not have a speech/voice disorder? 2) What is the relationship between MECA scores and perceptual assessment of voice quality scores? In addition, reliability of the MECA and the ACPA were also investigated. Results indicated good reliability of the MECA, and poor-to-good inter-rater and good-to-excellent intra-rater reliability of the ACPA. The VPI group reported statistically significant higher levels of CA than the control group. Finally, a statistically significant fair positive correlation was found between the MECA and the velopharyngeal function variable. Results of the study are discussed with special consideration given to the literature. Keywords: Communication Apprehension, MECA, ACPA, Velopharyngeal Insufficiency (VPI), Perceptual Assessment.



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