Characteristics of Speech Disfluency and Stuttering Behaviors in 3- and 4-Year-Old Children The purpose of this investigation was to quantitatively and qualitatively characterize speech disfluencies exhibited by 3- and 4-year-old children who do (CWS, N= 36) and do not (CWNS, N=36) stutter. Five measures of speech disfluency (e.g., percentage of total, other, and stuttering-like disfluencies, mean number of repetition units, and weighted ... Research Article
Research Article  |   February 01, 2002
Characteristics of Speech Disfluency and Stuttering Behaviors in 3- and 4-Year-Old Children
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Mark W. Pellowski
    Vanderbilt University Nashville, TN
  • Edward G. Conture
    Vanderbilt University Nashville, TN
  • Contact author: Mark W. Pellowski, Department of Hearing and Speech Sciences, The Vanderbilt Bill Wilkerson Center for Otolaryngology and Communication Sciences, 1114 19th Avenue South, Nashville, TN. 37212; E-mail: mark.w.pellowski@vanderbilt.edu
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Fluency Disorders / Speech / Research Articles
Research Article   |   February 01, 2002
Characteristics of Speech Disfluency and Stuttering Behaviors in 3- and 4-Year-Old Children
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, February 2002, Vol. 45, 20-34. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2002/002)
History: Received April 5, 2001 , Accepted October 31, 2001
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, February 2002, Vol. 45, 20-34. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2002/002)
History: Received April 5, 2001; Accepted October 31, 2001
Web of Science® Times Cited: 34

The purpose of this investigation was to quantitatively and qualitatively characterize speech disfluencies exhibited by 3- and 4-year-old children who do (CWS, N= 36) and do not (CWNS, N=36) stutter. Five measures of speech disfluency (e.g., percentage of total, other, and stuttering-like disfluencies, mean number of repetition units, and weighted SLD measure) were used in attempts to differentiate CWS from CWNS. Similar measures of stuttering (e.g., percentage of stutteringlike disfluencies consisting of disrhythmic phonations) were used to characterize speech disfluencies in 3- and 4-year-old CWS in relation to time since stuttering onset (TSO). It was hypothesized that such measures of speech disfluency should significantly differ between CWS and CWNS, as well as 3- versus 4-year-old CWS in relation to TSO. Results indicated that 4 out of the 5 dependent measures significantly differed between CWS and CWNS, and within the CWS group there was a significant relationship between TSO and the percentage of stuttering-like disfluencies when the effects of chronological age were partialled out of the regression analyses. Furthermore, 4-year-old CWS exhibited a moderate correlation between TSO and the percentage of stuttering-like disfluencies consisting of disrhythmic phonations, whereas 3-year-old CWS exhibited no such relationship between these two variables. Findings were taken to suggest that certain measures of speech disfluency appreciably differentiate CWS from CWNS and that 4-year-old CWS exhibit changes in nonreiterative forms of stuttering as a function of time since stuttering onset.

Acknowledgments
This research was supported in part by NIH research grant DC00523 to Vanderbilt University. The authors would like to thank Courtney Zackheim for her assistance with interjudge measurement reliability. Finally, the authors are grateful to the parents and children who participated in this investigation.
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