A Phenomenological Analysis of the Experience of Stuttering.



Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Publication Title

American journal of speech-language pathology


Purpose:Stuttering behaviors and moments of stuttering are typically defined by what a listener perceives. This study evaluated participants' perceptions of their own experience of moments of stuttering. Method:Thirteen adults who stutter participated in a phenomenological qualitative study examining their experience of moments of stuttering. Analysis yielded several common themes and subthemes culminating in an essential structure describing the shared experience. Results:Speakers experience anticipation and react in action and nonaction ways. Many speakers experience a loss of control that relates to a lack of a well-formed speech plan or agency. The experience of moments of stuttering changes through therapy, over time, with self-help, and across situations. Many speakers experience so-called typical stuttering behaviors as reactions rather than direct consequences of trying to speak. Interactions with listeners can affect the experience of stuttering. Conclusion:Although research recognizes that the experience of the stuttering disorder involves more than just speech behaviors, people who stutter experience stuttering behaviors in time as involving more than just the disruption in speech. This finding has implications for both the theoretical understanding of stuttering and the clinical evaluation and treatment of the stuttering disorder.

Open Access