Stuttering and Phonological Disorders in Children: Examination of the Covert Repair Hypothesis The purpose of this study was to evaluate whether the Covert Repair Hypothesis (CRH; Postma & Kolk, 1993), a theory designed to account for the occurrence of speech disfluencies in adults who stutter, can also account for selected speech characteristics of children who stutter and demonstrate disordered phonology. Subjects were ... Research Article
Research Article  |   April 01, 1996
Stuttering and Phonological Disorders in Children: Examination of the Covert Repair Hypothesis
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • J. Scott Yaruss
    Northwestern University, Evanston, IL
  • Edward G. Conture
    Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY
  • Contact author: J. Scott Yaruss, PhD, Speech and Language Pathology, Northwestern University, 2299 North Campus Drive, Evanston, IL 60208. Email: jsyaruss@nwu.edu
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Fluency Disorders / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Speech / Research Articles
Research Article   |   April 01, 1996
Stuttering and Phonological Disorders in Children: Examination of the Covert Repair Hypothesis
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 1996, Vol. 39, 349-364. doi:10.1044/jshr.3902.349
History: Received January 9, 1995 , Accepted September 12, 1995
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 1996, Vol. 39, 349-364. doi:10.1044/jshr.3902.349
History: Received January 9, 1995; Accepted September 12, 1995

The purpose of this study was to evaluate whether the Covert Repair Hypothesis (CRH; Postma & Kolk, 1993), a theory designed to account for the occurrence of speech disfluencies in adults who stutter, can also account for selected speech characteristics of children who stutter and demonstrate disordered phonology. Subjects were 9 boys who stutter and exhibit normal phonology (S + NP; mean age = 61.33 months; SD = 10.16 months) and 9 boys who stutter and exhibit disordered phonology (S + DP; mean age = 59.11 months; SD = 9.37 months). Selected aspects of each child’s speech fluency and phonology were analyzed on the basis of an audio/videotaped picture-naming task and a 30-min conversational interaction with his mother. Results indicated that S + NP and S + DP children are generally comparable in terms of their basic speech disfluency, nonsystematic speech error, and self-repair behaviors. CRH predictions that utterances produced with faster articulatory speaking rates or shorter response time latencies are more likely to contain speech errors or speech disfluencies were not supported. CRH predictions regarding the co-occurrence of speech disfluencies and speech errors were supported for nonsystematic (“slip-of-the-tongue”), but not for systematic (phonological process/rule-based), speech errors. Furthermore, neither S + NP nor S + DP subjects repaired their systematic speech errors during conversational speech, suggesting that systematic deviations from adult forms may not represent true “errors,” at least for some children exhibiting phonological processes. Findings suggest that speech disfluencies may not represent by-products of self-repairs of systematic speech errors produced during conversational speech, but that self-repairs of nonsystematic speech errors may be related to children’s production of speech disfluencies.

Acknowledgments
This research was supported in part by an NIH Grant (DC000523) to Syracuse University and was completed as part of the first author’s doctoral dissertation. The second author would like to extend his appreciation to the Nijmegen Institute of Cognition and Information (NICI), University of Nijmegen, where he was a visiting researcher during the development of this manuscript. The authors would like to thank Dr. Ken Logan for his help with interjudge measurement reliability, Dr. Mary Louise Edwards for her help with the phonetic transcriptions, and Drs. Linda Milosky and Mary Louise Edwards, as well as Drs. Charles Healey and Roger Ingham and two anonymous reviewers, for their insightful reviews of earlier drafts of this paper. The authors are also grateful to Drs. Albert Postma and Herman Kolk for their helpful input regarding the theoretical framework of the Covert Repair Hypothesis.
Order a Subscription
Pay Per View
Entire Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research content & archive
24-hour access
This Article
24-hour access