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J Fluency Disord. 2004;29(2):135-48.

The relationship between anxiety and stuttering: a multidimensional approach.

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Communication Disorder Department, Sheba Medical Center, Tel-Hashomer 52621, Israel.


The relationship between anxiety and stuttering is equivocal from both clinical and empirical perspectives. This study examined the relationship within the framework of the multidimensional interaction model of anxiety that includes an approach to general anxiety in specific situations [J. Pers. Soc. Psychol. 60 (1991) 919]. Ninety-four males aged 18-43, half disfluent speakers and half fluent speakers completed two questionnaires: The Trait Anxiety Inventory [C.D. Spielberger, R.L. Gorsuch, R.E. Lushene, Manual for the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (Self Evaluation Questionnaire), Consulting Psychologists Press, Palo Alto, CA, 1970] and the Speech Situation Checklist [G.J. Brutten, Neurolinguistic Approaches to Stuttering, Mouton, The Hague; G.J. Brutten, Stuttering: A Second Symposium, Harper and Row, New York, 1973; G.J. Brutten, P. Janssen, Proceedings 18th Congress of the International Association of Logopedics and Phoniatrists, Washington, DC, 1975; M. Vanryckeghem, Proceedings of the XXIVth Congress of the International Association of Logopedists and Phoniatrists, Nijmegen University Press, Nijmegen, 1981]. In addition, after performing speech and non-speech tasks, participants evaluated their level of anxiety on a subjective scale, labeled Task-Related Anxiety--TRA. The stuttering group also evaluated the level of severity of their stuttering. Findings indicate that trait anxiety is higher among people who stutter compared to fluent speakers, thus indicating that anxiety is a personality trait of people who stutter. State anxiety in social communication is higher among severe stutterers as compared to mild stutterers and fluent speakers. Thus, state anxiety is related to stuttering severity. The results are discussed in the frame of the multidimensional model of anxiety.


The reader will be able to: (1) describe the multidimensional anxiety model; (2) extend the model to the relations between stuttering and anxiety; (3) describe stuttering severity in relation to the levels of anxiety within the model.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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