The Relationship Between Communication Attitude, Anxiety, and Depression in Stutterers and Nonstutterers People who stutter are frequently viewed as more anxious than nonstutterers and as being depressed. Further, a strong and pervasive stereotype is held by nonstutterers that people who stutter are guarded, nervous, and tense. This study examined self-perceptions of general state and trait anxiety, depression, and communication attitude in matched ... Research Article
Research Article  |   August 01, 1992
The Relationship Between Communication Attitude, Anxiety, and Depression in Stutterers and Nonstutterers
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Susan Miller
    Callier Center for Communication Disorders, University of Texas at Dallas
  • Ben C. Watson
    Callier Center for Communication Disorders, University of Texas at Dallas
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Fluency Disorders / Speech / Research Articles
Research Article   |   August 01, 1992
The Relationship Between Communication Attitude, Anxiety, and Depression in Stutterers and Nonstutterers
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 1992, Vol. 35, 789-798. doi:10.1044/jshr.3504.789
History: Received August 15, 1991 , Accepted January 16, 1992
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 1992, Vol. 35, 789-798. doi:10.1044/jshr.3504.789
History: Received August 15, 1991; Accepted January 16, 1992

People who stutter are frequently viewed as more anxious than nonstutterers and as being depressed. Further, a strong and pervasive stereotype is held by nonstutterers that people who stutter are guarded, nervous, and tense. This study examined self-perceptions of general state and trait anxiety, depression, and communication attitude in matched groups of stutterers and nonstutterers. Results refute the assertion that people who stutter are more anxious or depressed than those who do not. Anxiety and depression are not related to self-ratings of stuttering severity. Communication attitude is negative for this group of people who stutter and becomes increasingly negative as self-ratings of stuttering become more severe. People who stutter, grouped by severity rating, differed in the strength of the relation between measures of communication attitude, anxiety, and depression. Findings suggest that the anxiety of people who stutter is restricted to their attitude towards communication situations and that it is a rational response to negative communication experiences.

Acknowledgments
The authors wish to thank all of the participants who freely gave of their time to complete the test battery. William F. Katz and Patricia M. Zebrowski provided valuable comments on an earlier version of this manuscript.
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