The Disfluent Speech of Bilingual Spanish–English Children: Considerations for Differential Diagnosis of Stuttering Purpose The primary purpose of this study was to describe the frequency and types of speech disfluencies that are produced by bilingual Spanish–English (SE) speaking children who do not stutter. The secondary purpose was to determine whether their disfluent speech is mediated by language dominance and/or language produced. ... Research Article
Research Article  |   January 01, 2015
The Disfluent Speech of Bilingual Spanish–English Children: Considerations for Differential Diagnosis of Stuttering
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Courtney T. Byrd
    The University of Texas at Austin
  • Lisa M. Bedore
    The University of Texas at Austin
  • Daniel Ramos
    The University of Texas at Austin
  • 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 Courtney T. Byrd: courtney.byrd@austin.utexas.edu
  • Editor: Marilyn Nippold
    Editor: Marilyn Nippold×
  • Associate Editor: Ann Packman
    Associate Editor: Ann Packman×
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Fluency Disorders / Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / Research Articles
Research Article   |   January 01, 2015
The Disfluent Speech of Bilingual Spanish–English Children: Considerations for Differential Diagnosis of Stuttering
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, January 2015, Vol. 46, 30-43. doi:10.1044/2014_LSHSS-14-0010
History: Received January 17, 2014 , Revised May 15, 2014 , Accepted August 25, 2014
 
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, January 2015, Vol. 46, 30-43. doi:10.1044/2014_LSHSS-14-0010
History: Received January 17, 2014; Revised May 15, 2014; Accepted August 25, 2014
Web of Science® Times Cited: 3

Purpose The primary purpose of this study was to describe the frequency and types of speech disfluencies that are produced by bilingual Spanish–English (SE) speaking children who do not stutter. The secondary purpose was to determine whether their disfluent speech is mediated by language dominance and/or language produced.

Method Spanish and English narratives (a retell and a tell in each language) were elicited and analyzed relative to the frequency and types of speech disfluencies produced. These data were compared with the monolingual English-speaking guidelines for differential diagnosis of stuttering.

Results The mean frequency of stuttering-like speech behaviors in the bilingual SE participants ranged from 3% to 22%, exceeding the monolingual English standard of 3 per 100 words. There was no significant frequency difference in stuttering-like or non-stuttering-like speech disfluency produced relative to the child's language dominance. There was a significant difference relative to the language the child was speaking; all children produced significantly more stuttering-like speech disfluencies in Spanish than in English.

Conclusion Results demonstrate that the disfluent speech of bilingual SE children should be carefully considered relative to the complex nature of bilingualism.

Acknowledgments
This research was funded by National Institutes of Health (NIH) Grant R01 DC007439 (Diagnostic Markers of Language Impairments). We are grateful to the families who participated in the study. We thank Elizabeth Peña, Ron Gillam, Anita Perez, Chad Bingham, and all of the interviewers for their assistance with collecting the data for this project; we also thank the school districts for allowing us access to collect the data. This article does not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the NIH.
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