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J Fluency Disord. 2013 Dec;38(4):368-81. doi: 10.1016/j.jfludis.2013.09.001. Epub 2013 Oct 1.

Psychological characteristics and perceptions of stuttering of adults who stutter with and without support group experience.

Author information

1
Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA, United States. Electronic address: michael.boyle@okstate.edu.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

To compare adults who stutter with and without support group experience on measures of self-esteem, self-efficacy, life satisfaction, self-stigma, perceived stuttering severity, perceived origin and future course of stuttering, and importance of fluency.

METHOD:

Participants were 279 adults who stutter recruited from the National Stuttering Association and Board Recognized Specialists in Fluency Disorders. Participants completed a Web-based survey comprised of various measures of well-being including the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale, Generalized Self-Efficacy Scale, Satisfaction with Life Scale, a measure of perceived stuttering severity, the Self-Stigma of Stuttering Scale, and other stuttering-related questions.

RESULTS:

Participants with support group experience as a whole demonstrated lower internalized stigma, were more likely to believe that they would stutter for the rest of their lives, and less likely to perceive production of fluent speech as being highly or moderately important when talking to other people, compared to participants with no support group experience. Individuals who joined support groups to help others feel better about themselves reported higher self-esteem, self-efficacy, and life satisfaction, and lower internalized stigma and perceived stuttering severity, compared to participants with no support group experience. Participants who stutter as an overall group demonstrated similar levels of self-esteem, higher self-efficacy, and lower life satisfaction compared to averages from normative data for adults who do not stutter.

CONCLUSIONS:

Findings support the notion that self-help support groups limit internalization of negative attitudes about the self, and that focusing on helping others feel better in a support group context is linked to higher levels of psychological well-being.

EDUCATIONAL OBJECTIVES:

At the end of this activity the reader will be able to: (a) describe the potential psychological benefits of stuttering self-help support groups for people who stutter, (b) contrast between important aspects of well-being including self-esteem self-efficacy, and life satisfaction, (c) summarize differences in self-esteem, self-efficacy, life satisfaction, self-stigma, perceived stuttering severity, and perceptions of stuttering between adults who stutter with and without support group experience, (d) summarize differences in self-esteem, self-efficacy, and life satisfaction between adults who stutter and normative data for adults who do not stutter.

KEYWORDS:

Life satisfaction; Self-esteem; Stigma; Stuttering; Support groups

PMID:
24331244
DOI:
10.1016/j.jfludis.2013.09.001
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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