Epidemiology of Stuttering in the Community Across the Entire Life Span A randomized and stratified investigation was conducted into the epidemiology of stuttering in the community across the entire life span. Persons from households in the state of New South Wales, Australia, were asked to participate in a telephone interview. Consenting persons were given a brief introduction to the research, and ... Research Article
Research Article  |   December 2002
Epidemiology of Stuttering in the Community Across the Entire Life Span
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Ashley Craig, PhD
    Department of Health Sciences University of Technology Sydney, Australia
  • Karen Hancock
    Department of Health Sciences University of Technology Sydney, Australia
  • Yvonne Tran
    Department of Health Sciences University of Technology Sydney, Australia
  • Magali Craig
    Department of Health Sciences University of Technology Sydney, Australia
  • Karen Peters
    Department of Health Sciences University of Technology Sydney, Australia
  • Contact author: Ashley Craig, PhD, Department of Health Sciences, University of Technology, Sydney, Broadway, New South Wales, Australia 2007. E-mail: a.craig@uts.edu.au
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Fluency Disorders / Speech / Research Articles
Research Article   |   December 2002
Epidemiology of Stuttering in the Community Across the Entire Life Span
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 2002, Vol. 45, 1097-1105. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2002/088)
History: Received May 15, 2002 , Accepted July 15, 2002
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 2002, Vol. 45, 1097-1105. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2002/088)
History: Received May 15, 2002; Accepted July 15, 2002
Web of Science® Times Cited: 75

A randomized and stratified investigation was conducted into the epidemiology of stuttering in the community across the entire life span. Persons from households in the state of New South Wales, Australia, were asked to participate in a telephone interview. Consenting persons were given a brief introduction to the research, and details were requested concerning the number and age of the persons living in the household at the time of the interview. Interviewees were then given a description of stuttering. Based on this description, they were asked if any person living in their household stuttered (prevalence). If they answered ‘yes,’ a number of corroborative questions were asked, and permission was requested to tape over the telephone the speech of the person who stutters. Confirmation of stuttering was based on (a) a positive detection of stuttering from the tape and (b) an affirmative answer to at least one of the corroborative questions supporting the diagnosis. Results showed that the prevalence of stuttering over the whole population was 0.72%, with higher prevalence rates in younger children (1.4–1.44) and lowest rates in adolescence (0.53). Male-to-female ratios ranged from 2.3:1 in younger children to 4:1 in adolescence, with a ratio of 2.3:1 across all ages. The household member being interviewed was also asked whether anyone in the household had ever stuttered. If the answer was ‘yes,’ the same corroborative questions were asked. These data, along with the prevalence data, provided an estimate of the incidence or risk of stuttering, which was found to range from 2.1% in adults (21–50 years) to 2.8% in younger children (2–5 years) and 3.4% in older children (6–10 years). Implications of these results are discussed.

Acknowledgments
This research was funded by The University of Technology, Sydney, and a Commonwealth Department of Health Grant (NHMRC). Thanks also to the following funding bodies who contributed financially to the research: the Big Brother Movement, the Australian Rotary Health Research Fund, the Sunshine Foundation, and the Inger Rice Foundation.
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