Stuttering, Temperament, and Anxiety: Data From a Community Cohort Ages 2–4 Years Purpose The purpose of this study was to ascertain whether and when temperament differences, including precursors of anxiety, emerge before onset and during stuttering development. Method The authors prospectively studied temperament characteristics of a community cohort of children who stutter (N = 183) and children in the control group ... Research Note
Research Note  |   August 01, 2014
Stuttering, Temperament, and Anxiety: Data From a Community Cohort Ages 2–4 Years
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Elaina Kefalianos
    Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, Victoria, Australia
    University of Melbourne, Australia
  • Mark Onslow
    Australian Stuttering Research Centre, University of Sydney, Australia
  • Obioha Ukoumunne
    PenCLAHRC, University of Exeter Medical School, University of Exeter, United Kingdom
  • Susan Block
    La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia
  • Sheena Reilly
    Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, Victoria, Australia
    University of Melbourne, Australia
    Royal Children's Hospital, Parkview, Victoria, Australia
  • Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.
    Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.×
  • Correspondence to Elaina Kefalianos: elaina.kefalianos@mcri.edu.au
  • Editor: Jody Kreiman
    Editor: Jody Kreiman×
  • Associate Editor: Hans-Georg Bosshardt
    Associate Editor: Hans-Georg Bosshardt×
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Fluency Disorders / Speech / Research Note
Research Note   |   August 01, 2014
Stuttering, Temperament, and Anxiety: Data From a Community Cohort Ages 2–4 Years
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 2014, Vol. 57, 1314-1322. doi:10.1044/2014_JSLHR-S-13-0069
History: Received March 24, 2013 , Revised October 14, 2013 , Accepted December 28, 2013
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 2014, Vol. 57, 1314-1322. doi:10.1044/2014_JSLHR-S-13-0069
History: Received March 24, 2013; Revised October 14, 2013; Accepted December 28, 2013
Web of Science® Times Cited: 4

Purpose The purpose of this study was to ascertain whether and when temperament differences, including precursors of anxiety, emerge before onset and during stuttering development.

Method The authors prospectively studied temperament characteristics of a community cohort of children who stutter (N = 183) and children in the control group (N = 1,261).

Results No significant differences were found at ages 2, 3, or 4 years between children who stutter and control children for approach or at ages 3 or 4 years for easy/difficult temperament. Both of these measures are precursors of anxiety. Significant differences were found for reactivity and persistence at age 3 years. Children who stutter were less reactive to environmental stimuli and had a reduced ability to attend to a task until completion. There was no evidence of this difference for persistence at age 4 years. Reactivity was not measured at age 4 years.

Conclusion On the basis of parents' responses to the Short Temperament Scale, preschoolers who stutter did not have innately different temperaments from control children on those temperament traits measured from ages 2 to 4 years. They showed no signs of temperament precursors of anxiety before stuttering onset or shortly after. Results suggest, at most, that temperament is influenced somehow during the period after stuttering onset but with a waning developmental influence subsequently.

Acknowledgments
The Early Language in Victoria Study (ELVS) was funded by Australian National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Grants 237106, 436958, and 436958. An additional NHMRC program grant, held by Professors Mark Onslow and Ann Packman and grants from the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, and the Faculty of Health Sciences at La Trobe University also supplemented funding for this project. The third author is supported by the Peninsula Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care, a collaboration between the University of Exeter, University of Plymouth, and National Health Service South West, funded by the National Institute for Health Research. Ethical approval was obtained from the Royal Children's Hospital Melbourne (23018) and La Trobe University Human Ethics Committee (03-32). This research was supported by the Victorian Government's Operational Infrastructure Support Program. We would also like to acknowledge the team of ELVS investigators, particularly Patricia Eadie and Melissa Wake, and all of the participating children and parents of ELVS.
Order a Subscription
Pay Per View
Entire Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research content & archive
24-hour access
This Article
24-hour access