Group Experiences and Individual Differences in Stuttering.



Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Publication Title

Journal of speech, language, and hearing research : JSLHR


Purpose This study explored group experiences and individual differences in the behaviors, thoughts, and feelings perceived by adults who stutter. Respondents' goals when speaking and prior participation in self-help/support groups were used to predict individual differences in reported behaviors, thoughts, and feelings. Method In this study, 502 adults who stutter completed a survey examining their behaviors, thoughts, and feelings in and around moments of stuttering. Data were analyzed to determine distributions of group and individual experiences. Results Speakers reported experiencing a wide range of both overt behaviors (e.g., repetitions) and covert behaviors (e.g., remaining silent, choosing not to speak). Having the goal of not stuttering when speaking was significantly associated with more covert behaviors and more negative cognitive and affective states, whereas a history of self-help/support group participation was significantly associated with a decreased probability of these behaviors and states. Conclusion Data from this survey suggest that participating in self-help/support groups and having a goal of communicating freely (as opposed to trying not to stutter) are associated with less negative life outcomes due to stuttering. Results further indicate that the behaviors, thoughts, and experiences most commonly reported by speakers may not be those that are most readily observed by listeners.

Open Access