Article  |   April 2012
Speech Disfluency in School-Age Children’s Conversational and Narrative Discourse
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Courtney T. Byrd
    The University of Texas, Austin
  • Kenneth J. Logan
    University of Florida, Gainesville
  • Ronald B. Gillam
    Utah State University, Logan
  • Correspondence to Courtney T. Byrd: courtneybyrd@mail.utexas.edu
  • Editor: Marilyn Nippold
    Editor: Marilyn Nippold×
  • Associate Editor: Ann Packman
    Associate Editor: Ann Packman×
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Fluency Disorders / School-Based Settings / Normal Language Processing
Article   |   April 2012
Speech Disfluency in School-Age Children’s Conversational and Narrative Discourse
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, April 2012, Vol. 43, 153-163. doi:10.1044/0161-1461(2011/10-0068)
History: Received August 12, 2010 , Revised February 1, 2011 , Accepted August 29, 2011
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, April 2012, Vol. 43, 153-163. doi:10.1044/0161-1461(2011/10-0068)
History: Received August 12, 2010; Revised February 1, 2011; Accepted August 29, 2011
Web of Science® Times Cited: 4

Purpose: This study was designed to (a) compare the speech fluency of school-age children who do and do not stutter (CWS and CWNS, respectively) within 2 standard diagnostic speaking contexts (conversation and narration) while also controlling for speaking topic, and (b) examine the extent to which children’s performance on such discourse tasks is affected by age.

Method: Participants were 44 school-age children who were divided evenly into four groups, depending on their age (older, younger) and fluency status (CWS, CWNS). Children conversed with an examiner about a series of pictures and then told a story about the same pictures.

Results: School-age CWS produced more instances of atypical (stuttering-like) disfluencies in the narrative context than in the conversational context. Younger school-age children produced more instances of typical (nonstuttering-like) disfluencies in the conversational sample than did older school-age children. Age did not affect the frequency of children’s stuttering-like disfluencies in either the conversational or the narrative contexts.

Clinical Implications: These findings suggest that narration may offer a relatively efficient way of eliciting stuttering-like disfluencies during the assessment of stuttering. Thus, when assessing children to determine if they do or do not stutter, this type of sample should be considered in addition to the standard conversational sample.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
We would like to thank the SLPs who assisted us with the recruitment and testing of participants and the graduate students who assisted with the transcription and data coding process. We would also like to thank Michael Mahometa for his assistance with the statistical analyses. Most of all, we would like to thank the CWS and their families who were willing to give their time to participate in this study and help us to further our knowledge of the underlying nature of stuttering.
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