A Longitudinal Study of Stuttering in Children A Preliminary Report Research Article
Research Article  |   August 01, 1992
A Longitudinal Study of Stuttering in Children
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Ehud Yairi
    University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
  • Nicoline Ambrose
    University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Fluency Disorders / Speech / Research Articles
Research Article   |   August 01, 1992
A Longitudinal Study of Stuttering in Children
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 1992, Vol. 35, 755-760. doi:10.1044/jshr.3504.755
History: Received May 8, 1991 , Accepted December 9, 1991
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 1992, Vol. 35, 755-760. doi:10.1044/jshr.3504.755
History: Received May 8, 1991; Accepted December 9, 1991

The objectives of this pilot study were to establish methods for longitudinal research of stuttering in children and to provide preliminary data on the variations that occur in disfluencies during the developmental course of stuttering. Twenty-seven preschool-aged children were followed for a minimum of 2 years shortly after they began stuttering. Tape-recorded speech samples were obtained from the children at several intervals during this period. The number of various types of disfluencies was counted in the speech samples obtained in each testing period. Twenty-one children continued to be followed for varying periods of up to 12 years. Eighteen of the 27 subjects received a few speech treatment sessions during the initial period of the study, whereas 9 children did not receive direct treatment. Results indicated that for the two subgroups there was a marked deceleration over time in the mean frequency of stuttering-like disfluencies. Individual subjects’ data showed considerable variability in the longitudinal development of disfluency but most subjects followed the patterns of the group means. Much of the reduction took place during the early stage of the disorder, especially near the end of the first year post-onset. There were indications that group differences between chronic and recovering stutterers become distinct by approximately 20 months post-onset.

Acknowledgments
This study was supported by grant #R01-DC00459 from the National Institute of Deafness and Other Communication Disorders. The editorial comments of Elaine Paden are greatly appreciated.
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