Control of Children's Stuttering With Response-Contingent Time-Out Behavioral, Perceptual, and Acoustic Data Research Article
Research Article  |   February 01, 1997
Control of Children's Stuttering With Response-Contingent Time-Out
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Mark Onslow
    Australian Stuttering Research Centre The University of Sydney Sydney, Australia
  • Ann Packman
    Australian Stuttering Research Centre The University of Sydney Sydney, Australia
  • Sally Stocker
    Australian Stuttering Research Centre The University of Sydney Sydney, Australia
  • Jan van Doorn
    School of Communication Disorders The University of Sydney Sydney, Australia
  • Gerald M. Siegel
    The University of Minnesota Minneapolis
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Fluency Disorders / Hearing & Speech Perception / Acoustics / Speech / Research Articles
Research Article   |   February 01, 1997
Control of Children's Stuttering With Response-Contingent Time-Out
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, February 1997, Vol. 40, 121-133. doi:10.1044/jslhr.4001.121
History: Received April 4, 1996 , Accepted August 14, 1996
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, February 1997, Vol. 40, 121-133. doi:10.1044/jslhr.4001.121
History: Received April 4, 1996; Accepted August 14, 1996

Many stuttering treatments incorporate contingencies for stuttering that are thought to contribute to treatment effectiveness. One contingency used in a number of treatment programs for children is time-out (TO) from speaking. However, although TO has been shown to control stuttering in adults there are no clear demonstrations of this effect in children. One aim of the present study was to demonstrate in the laboratory that TO reduces stuttering in children. Three school-age children spoke in a single-subject ABA experiment. In the B phase, a red light was illuminated for 5 seconds when the subject stuttered, during which time the subject stopped talking. Two of the three children showed clear reductions in stuttering in response to TO. The second aim of the study was to detect whether the children who responded to TO adopted an unusual speech pattern in order to control their stuttering. Listeners did not detect any differences between the perceptually stutter-free speech of baseline conditions and that of TO conditions, and a subsequent acoustic analysis revealed a reduction in the variability of vowel duration during TO in one subject and no changes in the other. The theoretical and clinical implications of the findings are discussed.

Acknowledgments
This study was conducted when the first three authors were in the School of Communication Disorders, the University of Sydney, and was supported by a Summer Vacation Scholarship from the Faculty of Health Sciences, The University of Sydney. Gerald Siegel took part in the study while a Visiting Scholar to the School of Communication Disorders, The University of Sydney.
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