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J Fluency Disord. 2013 Dec;38(4):311-24. doi: 10.1016/j.jfludis.2013.09.003. Epub 2013 Oct 1.

The social and communication impact of stuttering on adolescents and their families.

Author information

1
School of Human Communication Sciences, La Trobe University, Bundoora, Victoria 3088, Australia. Electronic address: s.erickson@latrobe.edu.au.
2
School of Human Communication Sciences, La Trobe University, Bundoora, Victoria 3088, Australia.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

Stuttering can cause wide ranging psychosocial impact. This is particularly the case for adolescents who may face additional physical, emotional and personality changes as they become adults. This study reports the findings of an investigation into the social and communication impacts of stuttering on Australian adolescents seeking treatment for stuttering and their families.

METHOD:

A cross-sectional design utilising questionnaires assessed the self-perceived communication competence and apprehension, stigma and disclosure, and experiences of teasing and bullying of 36 adolescents who stutter. Additionally, the impact of stuttering on the families of these adolescents was investigated.

RESULTS:

Adolescents who stutter have below average self-perceived communication competence, heightened communication apprehension, are teased and bullied more often than fluent peers, and they try to keep their stuttering secret. The families of the adolescents in the study reported high levels of emotional strain, family conflict and difficulty managing their child's frustrations.

CONCLUSION:

The findings from this study emphasise the wide-ranging impact of stuttering beyond the surface level behaviours. Clinicians working with adolescents who stutter should take note of both the outcomes of this study and the suggestions for more effectively coping with the condition in this population.

EDUCATIONAL OBJECTIVES:

The reader will be able to: (a) summarise findings with regards to the impact of stuttering on an adolescent's social and communication skills; (b) summarise areas of impact on the families of adolescents who stutter; (c) compare these findings with previous reported data for this population; (d) discuss the clinical implications of the results for working with adolescents who stutter and their families.

KEYWORDS:

Adolescent; Families; Impact; Stuttering

PMID:
24331240
DOI:
10.1016/j.jfludis.2013.09.003
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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