A Longitudinal Investigation of Stuttering and Phonological Performance in Preschoolers who Stutter

Ehud Yairi, Brent Andrew Gregg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Stuttering onset takes place during a critical period of rapid syntactic, lexical, and phonological development, when children are acquiring the ability to produce increasingly complex utterances. Because of shared influences among various domains in the development of speech and language during this period, we hypothesized that either interferences with normal development, or rapid progress in one aspect, can have multiple effects. A previous study [1] presented data that focused on the relationship between phonological performance and stuttering at a time close to onset. This report examines the relation between phonological progress and changes in stuttering over the course of one year post onset of stuttering in preschool children who exhibit different levels of phonological skills. Twenty-nine preschool children near stuttering onset, ranging in age from 29 to 49 months (M= 39.17 months), were divided based on the initial level of phonological ability: minimal phonological deviations and moderate phonological deviations. Phonological deviancy scores (PCC) and stuttering-like disfluencies (SLD) measures were obtained for 3 visits over the one-year period, and participants’ profiles for these metrics were generated, allowing a determination of the amount of increase or decrease in each metric. Longitudinal development in the two domains was examined at three set levels of change criteria. The greatest significance of this project is that it studied the relationship between stuttering and phonological skill from a temporal perspective. The results indicated that although the majority of children demonstrated improvements in both domains simultaneously, a substantial minority exhibited several other patterns.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-10
JournalJSM Communication Disorders
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2018


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