Lexical Priming in Picture Naming of Young Children Who Do and Do Not Stutter The purpose of this investigation was to assess the influence of lexical/semantic priming on the speech reaction time of young children who do and do not stutter during a picture-naming task. Participants were 23 children who stutter, age-matched (±4 months) to 23 children who do not stutter, ranging in age ... Research Article
Research Article  |   April 01, 2005
Lexical Priming in Picture Naming of Young Children Who Do and Do Not Stutter
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Mark W. Pellowski
    Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN
  • Edward G. Conture
    Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN
  • Contact author: Mark Pellowski, who is now at the Department of Audiology, Speech Language Pathology, and Deaf Studies, Towson University, 8000 York Road, Towson, MD 21252. E-mail: mpellowski@towson.edu
  • Now at Towson University, Towson, MD.
    Now at Towson University, Towson, MD.×
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Fluency Disorders / Normal Language Processing / Speech / Research Articles
Research Article   |   April 01, 2005
Lexical Priming in Picture Naming of Young Children Who Do and Do Not Stutter
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 2005, Vol. 48, 278-294. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2005/019)
History: Received March 26, 2003 , Revised October 1, 2003 , Accepted July 12, 2004
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 2005, Vol. 48, 278-294. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2005/019)
History: Received March 26, 2003; Revised October 1, 2003; Accepted July 12, 2004
Web of Science® Times Cited: 36

The purpose of this investigation was to assess the influence of lexical/semantic priming on the speech reaction time of young children who do and do not stutter during a picture-naming task. Participants were 23 children who stutter, age-matched (±4 months) to 23 children who do not stutter, ranging in age from 3;0 (years;months) to 5;11. Procedures involved a computer-assisted picture-naming task, during which each participant was presented with the same set of 28 pictures in each of 3 different conditions: (a) no-prime condition, in which no auditory stimulus was presented before picture display; (b) related-prime condition, in which a word, semantically related to the target picture, was presented auditorily 700 ms before picture display; and (c) unrelated-prime condition, in which a semantically unrelated word was presented auditorily 700 ms before picture display. Results indicated that when compared with a no-prime condition, presentation of semantically related words before the picture-naming response led to shorter or faster speech reaction times for children who do not stutter, but for children who stutter, it led to longer or slower speech reaction times. Moreover, children who do not stutter and who had higher receptive vocabulary scores exhibited faster speech reaction times and a greater semantic priming effect, whereas no such relationships were found for children who stutter. Findings were taken to suggest that children who stutter may exhibit subtle difficulties with lexical encoding and that this difficulty with speech-language planning may be one variable that contributes to childhood stuttering.

Acknowledgments
This investigation was supported (in part) by National Institutes of Health Grant DC00523 awarded to the second author and Vanderbilt University. Portions of this research were completed as part of the first author’s doctoral dissertation. The authors would like to thank Drs. Daniel Ashmead, Timothy McNamara, and Ralph Ohde for reviews of earlier drafts of the manuscript. The authors would also like to thank Drs. Julie Anderson and Courtney Zackheim Byrd for their assistance with interjudge reliability measurements and to all of the children and parents who agreed to participate in this investigation. Finally, we express our appreciation to Dr. Warren Lambert for his help with portions of the statistical analysis, Dr. Herman Kolk for his initial support, guidance, and inspiration to empirically assess childhood stuttering from an experimental psycholinguistic frame of reference, and Dr. Kay Bock for her critical appraisal of the motivation for as well as findings of this study.
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