Article/Report  |   October 1999
Early Childhood Stuttering III
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Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Fluency Disorders / Speech
Article/Report   |   October 1999
Early Childhood Stuttering III
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, October 1999, Vol. 42, 1125-1135. doi:10.1044/jslhr.4205.1125
History: Received February 23, 1998 , Accepted March 12, 1999
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, October 1999, Vol. 42, 1125-1135. doi:10.1044/jslhr.4205.1125
History: Received February 23, 1998; Accepted March 12, 1999

This investigation evaluated the expressive language abilities of 84 preschool-age children who stuttered, 62 who recovered from stuttering, and 22 who persisted in stuttering. The participants were identical to those identified in E. Yairi and N. G. Ambrose (1999) and E. Paden, E. Yairi, and N. G. Ambrose (1999). A range of lexical, morphological, and syntactic measures—calculated from spontaneous language samples of approximately 250–300 utterances in length collected relatively near stuttering onset—were used to examine the children's expressive language skills. For the purpose of analysis and comparison to normative data, children were grouped into three age intervals, in terms of the age at which they entered the study (2- to 3-year-olds, 3- to 4-year-olds, and 4- to 5-year-olds). Findings revealed similarity in the expressive language abilities of children whose stuttering persisted as opposed to abated at all age intervals. In addition, persistent and recovered stutterers displayed expressive language abilities near or above developmental expectations, based on comparison with normative data, at all age intervals. Children who entered the study at the youngest age level consistently demonstrated expressive language abilities well above normative expectations; this pattern was found for both persistent and recovered groups. These findings provide relatively limited information to assist in the early differentiation of persistence in or recovery from stuttering, but they do shed light on theoretical issues regarding the nature and character of early stuttering and potential associations with language learning.

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