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J Fluency Disord. 2005;30(3):219-53.

Childhood stuttering and dissociations across linguistic domains.

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Indiana University, Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences, 200 South Jordan Avenue, Bloomington, Indiana 47405, USA.

Erratum in

  • J Fluency Disord. 2006;31(1):69.


The purpose of this investigation was to evaluate the possible presence of dissociations in the speech and language skills of young children who do (CWS) and do not stutter (CWNS) using a correlation-based statistical procedure [Bates, E., Appelbaum, M., Salcedo, J., Saygin, A. P., & Pizzamiglio, L. (2003). Quantifying dissociations in neuropsychological research. Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology, 25, 1128-1153]. Participants were 45 preschool CWS and 45 CWNS between the ages of 3;0 and 5;11 (years;months), with the two groups matched by age, gender, race, and parental socioeconomic status. Children participated in a parent-child interaction for the purpose of disfluency analysis and responded to four standardized speech-language tests for subsequent analyses as main dependent variables. Findings indicated that CWS were over three times more likely than CWNS to exhibit dissociations across speech-language domains, with 44 cases of dissociation for CWS and 14 for CWNS across 10 possible comparisons. Results suggest that there may be a subgroup of CWS who exhibit dissociations across speech-language domains, which may result in a greater susceptibility to breakdowns in speech fluency.


The reader will be able to: (1) summarize findings from previous studies examining differences in speech and language performance between children who do and do not stutter; (2) describe what is meant by "dissociations" in the speech and language skills of young children who do and do not stutter; and (3) discuss three hypotheses that could account for the present findings that suggest CWS, more often than CWNS, exhibit dissociations in their speech-language system.

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