Acoustic Duration Changes Associated With Two Types of Treatment for Children Who Stutter The purpose of this study was (a) to examine in young children the effects of Speech Motor Training (SMT) on selected temporal acoustic durations considered to be related to speech motor programming, (b) to compare the speech motor effects of that treatment with those of a treatment of childhood stuttering ... Research Article
Research Article  |   August 01, 2000
Acoustic Duration Changes Associated With Two Types of Treatment for Children Who Stutter
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Glyndon D. Riley
    California State University Fullerton, CA
  • Janis Costello Ingham
    California State University Fullerton, CA
  • Corresponding author: e-mail: grileylb@earthlink.net
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Fluency Disorders / Hearing & Speech Perception / Acoustics / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Speech / Research Articles
Research Article   |   August 01, 2000
Acoustic Duration Changes Associated With Two Types of Treatment for Children Who Stutter
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 2000, Vol. 43, 965-978. doi:10.1044/jslhr.4304.965
History: Received June 24, 1999 , Accepted December 14, 1999
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 2000, Vol. 43, 965-978. doi:10.1044/jslhr.4304.965
History: Received June 24, 1999; Accepted December 14, 1999

The purpose of this study was (a) to examine in young children the effects of Speech Motor Training (SMT) on selected temporal acoustic durations considered to be related to speech motor programming, (b) to compare the speech motor effects of that treatment with those of a treatment of childhood stuttering that did not directly incorporate speech motor control training (Extended Length of Utterance [ELU]), and (c) to examine the relation of acoustic duration changes to reduction of stuttering. Twelve children who stutter were recorded while repeating syllable sets /pv/ and /tvke/ before and after SMT (n=6) or ELU treatment (n=6). Children who did not stutter served as matched reference groups. The syllables beginning with /p/ and /t/ were used as tokens for the acoustic measurement. Five measures served as indicators of temporal aspects of speech motor performance: vowel duration, stop gap duration, voice onset time, stop gap/vowel duration ratio, and total token duration. Results indicated that following SMT there was a significant increase in vowel duration and some reduction in stop gap duration that resulted in significantly reduced stop gap/vowel duration ratios. These acoustic effects were consistent across most participants. The ELU treatment reduced stuttering more than the SMT, but was not accompanied by significant effects on the selected temporal acoustic measures. These findings are compared with previous findings of increased vowel durations associated with fluency enhancement and stuttering treatment. We speculate that the increased vowel durations allow more time for speech motor planning and that stuttering is reduced moderately as a by-product of longer vowel durations. The mechanism(s) by which ELU treatment reduces stuttering did not appear to be captured by the dependent variables measured in this study.

Acknowledgments
The authors want to thank Roger Ingham and Jeanna Riley, who were involved in this research from the beginning. Special recognition is given to Annette M. Gotts and Suzanne Hatch-Halili of California State University, Fullerton, who did all of the acoustic duration measures for their master’s research projects. Their findings focused on vowel duration changes associated with SMT and are incorporated into this article. We appreciate the dedication of the master clinicians, Terry Sainz at California State University, Fullerton, and Roberta Jackson Shough at the University of California, Santa Barbara. The technical assistance of Richard Moglia was crucial. We recognize the careful laboratory and clinical work of our research assistants at CSUF, Cheryl Friedl, Tracy Kerins, JoAnn Konenkamp, Karrie Mauch, Matt Ronayne, Karyn Smith, and Jane Sugawara and at UCSB, Jeannine Bankey, Shannon Bryan, Melinda Harold, Robin Hauge, Jill Hayward, and Karen Zwicke. This research was supported by NIH Grant 5 R01 DC01100, awarded by the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders.
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