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Verbal behaviors of preschool stutterers and conversational partners: observing reciprocal relationships.

Authors
  • Meyers, S C
Type
Published Article
Journal
The Journal of speech and hearing disorders
Publication Date
Nov 01, 1990
Volume
55
Issue
4
Pages
706–712
Identifiers
PMID: 2232750
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

Standard counseling practices with the families of young stutterers include recommendations that listeners' negative verbal behaviors be modified in order to reduce the likelihood of stuttering. This study tested the hypothesis that stuttering and normal disfluencies in preschool stutterers are related to selected verbal behaviors in conversational partners. Twelve 2- to 6-year-old stutterers were video recorded while playing with their mother, father, and a familiar peer. The resulting videotapes were transcribed and two types of social communicative analyses (total number of words and utterances, verbal intent of the speaker) were undertaken. Results suggested that fathers used more words and utterances than mothers and peers. Parents provided more positive interactions with their stutterer offspring than did peers. Parents also asked significantly more negative and routine questions when talking to their stuttering child. Peer playmates were significantly more negative and generally commented more frequently when interacting with stutterers than did the parents. Stutterers were involved in significantly more positive interactions with their fathers. The frequency of fluency failures did not differ significantly when stutterers communicated with their mother, father, or peer partners. Implications regarding verbal styles of partners in relationship to the stuttering of preschool children are discussed.

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