A Control/Experimental Trial of an Operant Treatment for Early Stuttering A preliminary study (Onslow, Costa, & Rue, 1990) suggested that a parent-conducted program of verbal response-contingent stimulation would be an effective treatment for stuttering children younger than 5 years. The present study was designed to expand those preliminary findings by using a larger group of children and by comparing them ... Research Article
Research Article  |   December 01, 1994
A Control/Experimental Trial of an Operant Treatment for Early Stuttering
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Mark Onslow
    School of Communication Disorders, The University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia
  • Cheryl Andrews
    Stuttering Unit, Bankstown-Lidcombe Hospital, Sydney, Australia
  • Michelle Lincoln
    School of Communication Disorders, The University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia
  • Contact author: Mark Onslow, School of Communication Disorders, The University of Sydney, P.O. Box 170, Lidcombe NSW 2141, Australia. E-mail: cd_onslow@cchs.su.edu.au
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Fluency Disorders / Speech / Research Articles
Research Article   |   December 01, 1994
A Control/Experimental Trial of an Operant Treatment for Early Stuttering
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 1994, Vol. 37, 1244-1259. doi:10.1044/jshr.3706.1244
History: Received November 15, 1993 , Accepted May 6, 1994
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 1994, Vol. 37, 1244-1259. doi:10.1044/jshr.3706.1244
History: Received November 15, 1993; Accepted May 6, 1994

A preliminary study (Onslow, Costa, & Rue, 1990) suggested that a parent-conducted program of verbal response-contingent stimulation would be an effective treatment for stuttering children younger than 5 years. The present study was designed to expand those preliminary findings by using a larger group of children and by comparing them to a control group of children. Twelve children in the experimental group achieved median percent syllables stuttered (%SS) scores below 1.0 for a 12-month posttreatment period. The children's treatments were completed in a median of 10.5 1-hour clinic sessions and a median of 84.5 days from the start of treatment. The majority of parents of the control children withdrew from the study and elected to have treatment begin for their child. These results suggest that the program may be a cost-effective method for managing a clinical caseload of stuttering children younger than 5 years. It is suggested that controlled clinical trials cannot be used validly or ethically to determine the number of cases of early stuttering who recover without formal intervention.

Acknowledgments
The authors acknowledge the contributions made to this study by Elisabeth Harrison and Leanne Costa. This study was supported by grant #900077 from the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia.
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