Parents’ Speech and Children’s Stuttering: A Critique of the Literature The role of parents in relation to their children’s stuttering has been of great interest to speech-language pathologists for more than 50 years. As part of treatment, speech-language pathologists frequently advise parents to modify their speech behaviors when talking with their children. For example, parents are often told to speak ... Research Article
Research Article  |   October 01, 1995
Parents’ Speech and Children’s Stuttering: A Critique of the Literature
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Marilyn A. Nippold
    University of Oregon Eugene
  • Mishelle Rudzinski
    University of Oregon Eugene
  • Contact author: Marilyn A. Nippold, PhD, Communication Disorders and Sciences, University of Oregon, Eugene, OR 97403.
    Contact author: Marilyn A. Nippold, PhD, Communication Disorders and Sciences, University of Oregon, Eugene, OR 97403.×
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Fluency Disorders / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Speech / Research Articles
Research Article   |   October 01, 1995
Parents’ Speech and Children’s Stuttering: A Critique of the Literature
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, October 1995, Vol. 38, 978-989. doi:10.1044/jshr.3805.978
History: Received August 3, 1994 , Accepted March 8, 1995
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, October 1995, Vol. 38, 978-989. doi:10.1044/jshr.3805.978
History: Received August 3, 1994; Accepted March 8, 1995

The role of parents in relation to their children’s stuttering has been of great interest to speech-language pathologists for more than 50 years. As part of treatment, speech-language pathologists frequently advise parents to modify their speech behaviors when talking with their children. For example, parents are often told to speak more slowly and to refrain from interrupting or questioning the child excessively. Given the commonness of this advice, it is important to examine the research upon which it is based. This article contains a critical review of the literature concerning the role of parents’ speech behaviors (e.g., rate, interruptions, question-asking) in relation to their children’s stuttering. Published studies are reported and analyzed in order to determine the extent to which parents may affect their children’s stuttering through their own speech behaviors. The review indicates that there is little convincing evidence to support the view that parents of children who stutter differ from parents of children who do not stutter in the way they talk with their children. Similarly, there is little objective support for the argument that parents’ speech behaviors contribute to children’s stuttering or that modifying parents’ speech behaviors facilitates children’s fluency. Implications for treatment and for future research are discussed.

Acknowledgments
We would like to thank E. Charles Healey, Janis Costello Ingham, and Patricia M. Zebrowski for their constructive and insightful comments on earlier versions of this manuscript.
Order a Subscription
Pay Per View
Entire Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research content & archive
24-hour access
This Article
24-hour access