Identification of Children’s Stuttered and Nonstuttered Speech by Highly Experienced Judges: Binary Judgments and Comparisons With Disfluency-Types Definitions Purpose The purposes of this study were (a) to determine whether highly experienced clinicians and researchers agreed with each other in judging the presence or absence of stuttering in the speech of children who stutter and (b) to determine how those binary stuttered/nonstuttered judgments related to categorizations of the same ... Research Article
Research Article  |   August 01, 2008
Identification of Children’s Stuttered and Nonstuttered Speech by Highly Experienced Judges: Binary Judgments and Comparisons With Disfluency-Types Definitions
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Anne K. Bothe
    The University of Georgia, Athens
  • Contact author: Anne K. Bothe, Department of Communication Sciences and Special Education, The University of Georgia, Athens, GA, 30602. E-mail: abothe@uga.edu.
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Fluency Disorders / Speech / Research Articles
Research Article   |   August 01, 2008
Identification of Children’s Stuttered and Nonstuttered Speech by Highly Experienced Judges: Binary Judgments and Comparisons With Disfluency-Types Definitions
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 2008, Vol. 51, 867-878. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2008/063)
History: Received May 21, 2007 , Accepted September 29, 2007
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 2008, Vol. 51, 867-878. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2008/063)
History: Received May 21, 2007; Accepted September 29, 2007
Web of Science® Times Cited: 9

Purpose The purposes of this study were (a) to determine whether highly experienced clinicians and researchers agreed with each other in judging the presence or absence of stuttering in the speech of children who stutter and (b) to determine how those binary stuttered/nonstuttered judgments related to categorizations of the same speech based on disfluency-types descriptions of stuttering.

Method Eleven highly experienced judges made binary judgments of the presence or absence of stuttering for 600 audiovisually recorded 5-s speech samples from twenty 2- to 8-year-old children who stuttered. These judgments were compared with each other and with disfluency-types judgments in multiple interval-by-interval assessments and by using multiple definitions of agreement.

Results Interjudge agreement for the highly experienced judges in the binary stuttered/nonstuttered task varied from 39.0% to 89.1%, depending on methods and definitions used. Congruence between binary judgments and categorizations based on disfluency types also varied depending on methods and definitions, from 21.6% to 100%.

Conclusions Agreement among highly experienced judges, and congruence between their binary judgments of stuttering and categorizations based on disfluency types, were relatively high using some definitions and very low using others. These results suggest the use of measurement methods other than those based on disfluency types for quantifying or describing children’s stuttering. They also suggest both the need for, and potential methods for, training to increase judges’ accuracy and agreement in identifying children’s stuttering.

Acknowledgments
This research was supported, in part, by National Institutes of Health Research Grant R01004838, awarded to The University of Georgia on behalf of the author. Thanks to the highly experienced judges, remaining intentionally anonymous, who participated in this task; to colleagues and friends, also remaining intentionally anonymous, who provided some of the tapes used in this study; to the research assistants at The University of Georgia who made the disfluency types judgments; and to Roger Ingham, for his comments on versions of this article.
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