This study examined relationships among utterance length, syntactic complexity, and stuttering in children's conversational speech. Analyses extended prior research by examining several different aspects of syntactic complexity, including sentence structure, clause structure, and phrase structure. Subjects were 12 boys who stutter, age 40 to 66 months, who produced 75-utterance conversational speech samples during free-play interactions with their mothers. Group analyses revealed significant differences between fluent and stuttered utterances in terms of all measures of utterance length and several measures of syntactic complexity. Analysis of the relationships between utterance length and syntactic complexity identified several measures of syntactic complexity that influenced stuttering and were independent of utterance length. Logistic regression analyses revealed that utterance length was better than syntactic complexity at predicting whether stuttering would occur, though neither utterance length nor syntactic complexity was a particularly strong predictor for individual subjects' data. Thus, findings suggest that utterance length and syntactic complexity cannot, by themselves, adequately account for the occurrence of stuttering in children's conversational utterances.
This study describes relationships between speech, language, and related behaviors exhibited during an initial diagnostic evaluation by 2- to 6-year-old children referred for evaluation of their speech and language development. These children were referred as a result of their parents’ concerns that they might be at risk for stuttering. Subjects were 100 children (85 boys and 15 girls; mean age=54.7 months;
=12.2 months) who appeared to be representative of the children that clinicians are likely to evaluate in a clinical setting. Analyses were based on a retrospective examination of detailed diagnostic records prepared during the diagnostic evaluations. Results indicated that children recommended for treatment exhibited significantly higher scores than children recommended for reevaluation or for neither treatment nor reevaluation on all measures of speech fluency except the duration of disfluencies (which approached, but did not reach, significance). Importantly, analyses also revealed significant behavioral overlaps between children in the three recommendation subgroups, suggesting that absolute referral criteria probably should not be used when making treatment recommendations. In addition, diagnostic testing revealed that a proportion of these children exhibited concomitant difficulties with language, phonology, or oral motor skills, suggesting that stuttering is not necessarily independent of other aspects of children’s speech and language development. Based on the distribution of children’s scores on a variety of measures in this relatively large database, benchmarks are presented that may provide clinicians with a means for comparing their own treatment recommendations to those made by others.
Many people who stutter experience the phenomenon of anticipation—the sense that stuttering will occur before it is physically and overtly realized. A systematic investigation of how people who stutter respond to anticipation has not been previously reported. The purposes of this study were to provide self-report evidence of what people do in response to anticipation of stuttering and to determine the extent to which this anticipation occurs.
Thirty adults who stutter indicated on a Likert rating scale the extent to which they anticipate stuttering and answered three open-ended (written) questions regarding how they respond to anticipation.
All participants reported experiencing anticipation at least “sometimes,” and 77% of the participants reported experiencing anticipation “often” or “always.” The extent to which participants reported experiencing anticipation was not related to stuttering severity, impact, or treatment history. Analysis of written responses revealed 24 major categories, which were heuristically divided into action or non-action responses. Categories representing avoidance and self-management strategies were further divided into 14 and 19 subcategories, respectively. Participants were just as likely to view anticipation as helpful as they were to view it as harmful.
Findings demonstrate that most, if not all, adults who stutter experience anticipation, and the majority of adults who stutter report doing so at least often. Adults who stutter respond to this anticipation by altering the speech production process in various ways. Results highlight the importance of the role that anticipation plays in how stuttering behaviors manifest themselves.
scite is a Brooklyn-based organization that helps researchers better discover and understand research articles through Smart Citations–citations that display the context of the citation and describe whether the article provides supporting or contrasting evidence. scite is used by students and researchers from around the world and is funded in part by the National Science Foundation and the National Institute on Drug Abuse of the National Institutes of Health.