No AccessJournal of Speech, Language, and Hearing ResearchResearch Article1 Apr 2001

The Young Child's Awareness of Stuttering-Like Disfluency

    The emergence of awareness of stuttering has been an important factor in theoretical and clinical considerations for early childhood stuttering. The present research program is aimed at studying the development of awareness of stuttering-like disfluency in normally fluent preschool and first-grade children using responses to video speech samples. A total of 79 children in five different age groups were asked to discriminate between the speech (fluent and disfluent) of two puppets, identify with the one who speaks like them, and evaluate the disfluent and fluent speech of the puppets. It was found that from age 3, children show evidence of awareness of the disfluency used in the study, but most children reached full awareness at age 5. Also, negative evaluation of disfluent speech is observed from age 4. Theoretical and clinical implications are discussed.

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