Young Stutterers’ Nonspeech Behaviors During Stuttering The purpose of this study was to assess the nonspeech behaviors associated with young stutterers’ stuttering and normally fluent children’s comparable fluent utterances. Subjects were 28 boys and 2 girls who stutter (mean age=54 months) and 28 boys and 2 girls who do not stutter (mean age=54 months). Each child ... Research Article
Research Article  |   October 01, 1991
Young Stutterers’ Nonspeech Behaviors During Stuttering
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Edward G. Conture
    Syracuse University
  • Ellen M. Kelly
    Purdue University
  • Requests for reprints should be sent to Edward G. Conture, PhD, Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Syracuse University, 805 South Crouse Avenue, Syracuse, NY .
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Fluency Disorders / Speech / Research Articles
Research Article   |   October 01, 1991
Young Stutterers’ Nonspeech Behaviors During Stuttering
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, October 1991, Vol. 34, 1041-1056. doi:10.1044/jshr.3405.1041
History: Received August 13, 1990 , Accepted January 11, 1991
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, October 1991, Vol. 34, 1041-1056. doi:10.1044/jshr.3405.1041
History: Received August 13, 1990; Accepted January 11, 1991

The purpose of this study was to assess the nonspeech behaviors associated with young stutterers’ stuttering and normally fluent children’s comparable fluent utterances. Subjects were 28 boys and 2 girls who stutter (mean age=54 months) and 28 boys and 2 girls who do not stutter (mean age=54 months). Each child and his or her mother were audio-video recorded during a loosely structured, 30-min conversation. Sixty-six different nonspeech behaviors associated with 10 randomly selected stutterings per stutterer and 10 comparable fluent utterances per normally fluent child were assessed by means of frame-by-frame analysis of the audio-video recordings. Results indicate that (a) young stutterers produce significantly more nonspeech behaviors during stuttered words than do normally fluent children during comparable fluent words, (b) young stutterers produce significantly more head turns left, blinks, and upper lip raising during stuttered words than do normally fluent children during comparable fluent words, and (c) talker group membership could be significantly determined on the basis of certain types of nonspeech behaviors despite considerable overlap in frequency and type of nonspeech behavior between the two talker groups. Findings suggest that children can be classified as stutterers on the basis of their nonspeech behaviors and that these behaviors may reflect a variety of cognitive, emotional, linguistic, and physical events associated with childhood stuttering.

Acknowledgments
This research was supported in part by OSEP research grants (G008530252 and H023C80008) to Syracuse University. Special thanks is offered to Richard D. Molitor for his helpful editorial comments on an earlier draft of this paper, Josh Kelly for his expertise in the development of photographic material, Lisa LaSalle, Linda Louko, and Lesley Wolk for their able assistance with data collection, and James Chan and John R. Gleason for their considerable help with data analysis. Furthermore, the authors extend their appreciation to Associate Editor Robert A. Prosek for his helpful editorial suggestions and to the three editorial consultants, Nan Bernstein Ratner, Charles M. Runyan, and one who remained anonymous.
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