This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Perceptions of Employability for Adolescents Related to Varying Degrees of Hypernasality: Making the Case for Interprofessional Collaboration & Advocacy in Speech Language Pathology




Tye, Scott

Type of Degree

Master's Thesis


Communication Disorders


Objective: The primary aim of this investigation was to evaluate the impact listener perception has on vocational success in adolescents with hypernasal speech. Methods: Using Qualtrics, an online survey platform, listeners from Master of Business Administration (MBA) and Master of Public Administration (MPA) programs at Auburn University were recruited to evaluate speech samples from adolescents with hypernasal resonance disorders to determine their auditory-perceptual judgments regarding intelligence and employability. Results: Speech samples representing adolescents with hypernasal speech were rated lower on scales of intelligence and employability. They were also more likely to be selected for jobs with infrequent rates of communication and lower levels of responsibility. Additionally, males with hypernasal speech were perceived as less intelligent, less employable, and more likely to be selected for a job with infrequent communication in comparison to females with hypernasal speech. Conclusions: Results of this investigation suggest that adolescents with hypernasal speech will face some degree of difficulty when entering the work force. In addition to experiencing vocational struggles, these students may also experience academic and social struggles as well. School-based SLPs play an integral role in the referral process necessary to help mitigate these difficulties. It is imperative that school-based SLPs reach out to SLPs on a craniofacial team for outside support when working with students who have hypernasal speech. Craniofacial SLPs also have a responsibility in creating an open line of communication. School-based SLPs knowledgeable about hypernasal speech can be these students’ biggest advocate for receiving services.