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J Commun Disord. 2014 Jul-Aug;50:36-50. doi: 10.1016/j.jcomdis.2014.04.001. Epub 2014 May 5.

The Public Opinion Survey of Human Attributes-Stuttering (POSHA-S) and Bipolar Adjective Scale (BAS): aspects of validity.

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West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV, USA. Electronic address:
University of South Dakota, Vermillion, SD, USA.
Ohio University, Athens, OH, USA.
Southeastern Louisiana University, Hammond, LA, USA.
Touro College, New York, NY, USA.



In order to estimate instrument validity, attitudes toward stuttering measured by the newly developed Public Opinion Survey of Human Attributes-Stuttering (POSHA-S) and the Woods and Williams (1976) semantic differential scale (referred to herein as the Bipolar Adjective Scale [BAS]) are compared in college students on one occasion as well as before and after coursework on fluency disorders.


Undergraduate and graduate students (n=321) from four universities filled out online versions of the POSHA-S and BAS. Two-thirds were speech-language pathology (SLP) majors; one-third were students in other majors. A subset of the SLP students (n=35) filled out the two instruments again after 8-13 weeks of coursework on fluency disorders.


Correlations between all ratings of the POSHA-S and BAS were run for the 321 students. Only 26% of the correlations were statistically significant (R ≥ ± 0.129), and the large majority of these reflected small relationships. POSHA-S ratings were correlated with up to 77% of the items of the BAS while BAS items were correlated with up to 45% of the POSHA-S ratings. After coursework on stuttering, students' attitudes improved on both instruments, but more on the POSHA-S than the BAS.


Greater evidence of discriminant validity than convergent validity characterized the POSHA-S and BAS. Both measures showed improved attitudes after fluency disorders coursework, but more so for the POSHA-S, confirming previous reports of construct validity. The POSHA-S taps relevant constructs not included in the BAS, which provide advantages for intracultural, international, and other comparisons of public attitudes toward stuttering.


The reader will be able to: (1) describe differentiating characteristics of the POSHA-S and BAS as measures of public attitudes toward stuttering, (2) describe the overlap and lack of overlap in the constructs measured by POSHA-S and BAS, (3) describe discriminant versus convergent validity and (4) describe advantages of the POSHA-S and BAS in various types of comparative studies of stuttering attitudes.


Attitudes; POSHA-S; Stuttering

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