A Comparison of Young Stutterers’ Fluent Versus Stuttered Utterances on Measures of Length and Complexity This investigation attempted to clarify the relationship between stuttering in young children and the language factors of length and grammatical complexity. Sentences containing stutterings within the first few words, as produced by 12 stutterers (4–6 years old) in spontaneous conversational dyads, were analyzed for length and grammatical complexity. Results indicated ... Research Article
Research Article  |   February 01, 1991
A Comparison of Young Stutterers’ Fluent Versus Stuttered Utterances on Measures of Length and Complexity
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Natalie D. Gaines
    James Madison University
  • Charles M. Runyan
    James Madison University
  • Susan C. Meyers
    California State University, Northridge
  • Requests for reprints should be sent to Natalie D. Gaines, National Rehabilitation Hospital, Speech-Language Pathology Services, 102 Irving Street, NW, Washington, DC 20010.
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Fluency Disorders / Speech / Research Articles
Research Article   |   February 01, 1991
A Comparison of Young Stutterers’ Fluent Versus Stuttered Utterances on Measures of Length and Complexity
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, February 1991, Vol. 34, 37-42. doi:10.1044/jshr.3401.37
History: Received April 24, 1989 , Accepted April 5, 1990
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, February 1991, Vol. 34, 37-42. doi:10.1044/jshr.3401.37
History: Received April 24, 1989; Accepted April 5, 1990

This investigation attempted to clarify the relationship between stuttering in young children and the language factors of length and grammatical complexity. Sentences containing stutterings within the first few words, as produced by 12 stutterers (4–6 years old) in spontaneous conversational dyads, were analyzed for length and grammatical complexity. Results indicated that sentences in which an episode of stuttering occurred within the first three words were significantly longer and more complex than sentences that were free of perceptible stuttering and all other forms of fluency failure. Implications of these findings for the clinician are presented and discussed.

Acknowledgments
This study is based in part on author Natalie Gaines’s master’s thesis, submitted to James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA. The authors would like to gratefully acknowledge Dr. Robert Prosek for his statistical consultations and Ms. Francis Jamieson for agreeing to perform the reliability checks. We also wish to thank Dr. Robert Prosek and Dr. Clinton Bennet for both their substantive and their editorial comments on this paper. Porttons of this article were originally presented at the annual convention of the American Speech-Languague-Hearing Association, New Orleans, November 1987.
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