Victoria Tumanova: 0000-0002-4216-683X
Edward G. Conture: 0000-0001-8656-2036
Tedra Walden: 0000-0003-4917-1022
Stuttering; Preschool-age children; Speech disfluencies; Talker-group classification; Parental concern
Communication Sciences and Disorders
Purpose—The goals of the present study were to investigate whether (1) the speech disfluencies of preschool-age children are normally distributed; (2) preschool-age children who do (CWS) and do not stutter (CWNS) differ in terms of non-stuttered disfluencies; (3) age, gender, and speechlanguage ability affect the number and type of disfluencies children produce; and (4) parents’ expressed concern that their child stutters is associated with examiners’ judgments of stuttered disfluency.
Method—Four hundred and seventy two children participated, of which 228 were CWS (56 girls), and 244 CWNS (119 girls). Participants provided conversational speech samples that were analyzed for frequency of occurrence of (a) stuttered disfluencies, (b) non-stuttered disfluencies, and (c) total disfluencies.
Results—Results indicated that the underlying distributions of preschool-age children’s stuttered and non-stuttered disfluency counts followed a negative binomial distribution (i.e., were not normal), with more children “piling up” at the low end [none or few disfluencies] and fewer children scoring in the upper [more severe stuttering] end of the distribution. Findings also indicated that non-stuttered disfluencies significantly predicted CWS/CWNS talker group classification, information that may be helpful to augment, but not supplant, talker group classification criteria based on stuttered disfluencies. Moreover, expressed parental concern about stuttering was strongly associated with frequency of stuttered disfluencies.
Tumanova, V., Conture, E., Lambert, W., & Walden, T. (2014). Speech disfluencies in preschool-age children who do and do not stutter. Journal of Communication Disorders, 49, 25-41, doi: 10.1016/j.jcomdis.2014.01.003
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