Graduate Student Council Research Grants


The Prosodic Profile of Individuals with Prader-Willi Syndrome

Document Type



M.S. in Communication Sciences and Disorders

Publication Date



Prader-Willi Syndrome is a rare (i.e., 1 in 15,000 birth) genetic disorder caused by the absence or inactivation of chromosome 15 (Prader-Willi Syndrome Association USA [PWS-USA], 2016). Previous research has documented that individuals with PWS often have speech and language deficits (Akefeldt, A., Akefeldt, B., & Gillberg, 1997; Lewis, Freebairn, Heeger, & Cassidy, 2002).Prosody is the melody and rhythm and speech and includes pitch, intensity, and duration (Hawthorne, Rudat, & Gerken, 2016). Prosody plays an important role in helping individuals communicate and has been linked to speech intelligibility (McCloy, 2013), social perceptions of the speaker (Wang & Tsao, 2015), and literacy development (Holliman et al., 2014). Thus, an increased knowledge of the prosodic abilities of individuals with PWS will allow speech-language pathologists (SLPs) to enhance their clinical practices and ultimately improve the lives of individuals with PWS. Participants will complete the Kaufmann Brief Intelligence Test (KBIT-II), the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test (PPVT-IV), as well as the Profiling Elements of Prosody in Speech-Communication (PEPS-C), a comprehensive of both expressive and receptive prosody.

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