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초록
Purpose: This preliminary study assessed the speech mechanism of normal preschoolers by means of the “Speech
Mechanism Screening Test for Children (SMST-C)”. Methods: Sixty-five children between the ages of three and six
participated in the study. They were examined with the SMST-C developed by the researchers of this study and checked
by seven experts for validity. The SMST-C was divided into three sub-systems: structure/function,
phonation/voice/articulation, and diadochokinesis (DDK). It was composed of a total of 46 items with 14 structures, 16
functions, three voices, one articulation, and 12 regularity and accuracy during DDK. In addition, maximum phonation
time (MPT) in the phonation part and DDK rates in the DDK part were measured. Each item of SMST-C was scored
from 0 to 2, except voice and articulation items, which were weighted to two points. Therefore, the total score ranged
from 0 to 100. Results: The total score of the SMST-C showed no significant differences between gender or age. MPT
and DDK rates in all syllables (/phʌ/, /thʌ/, /khʌ/, /lʌ/, and /kʌŋ/) for alternative motion rate (AMR) and /phʌthʌkhʌ/ for
sequential motion rate (SMR)) increased as age increased. Also, AMR of /tʌ/ was the fastest and of /kʌŋ/ was the slowest
syllable among the monosyllables used in this study. Conclusions: The results of this study provide comparative data to
assess preschool children with communication disorders. The SMST-C would be helpful in the clinic to screen abnormal
in speech motor mechanism.
Keywords: Speech mechanism screening test for children, preschooler, diadochokinesis, maximum phonation time
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