Phonological skills and disfluency levels in preschool children who stutter

Brent Andrew Gregg, Ehud Yairi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The relation between stuttering and aspects of language, including phonology, has been investigated for many years. Whereas past literature reported that the incidence of phonological difficulties is higher for children who stutter when compared to normally fluent children, the suggestion of association between the two disorders also drew several critical evaluations. Nevertheless, only a limited amount of information exists concerning the manner and extent to which the speech sound errors exhibited by young children who stutter, close to stuttering onset, is related to the characteristics of their stuttering, such as its severity. Conversely, information is limited regarding the effects a child's phonological skills may have on his/her stuttering severity. The current study investigated the mutual relations between these two factors in 28 carefully selected preschool children near the onset of their stuttering. The children, 20 boys and 8 girls, ranged in age from 25 to 38 months, with a mean of 32.2 months. The phonological skills of two groups with different ratings of stuttering were compared. Similarly, the stuttering severities of two groups with different levels of phonological skills (minimal deviations-moderate deviations) were compared. No statistically significant differences were found for either of the two factors. Inspection of the data revealed interesting individual differences. Learning outcomes: The reader will be able to list: (1) differences in the phonological skills of preschool children whose stuttering is severe as compared to children whose stuttering is mild and (2) differences in stuttering severity in preschool children with minimal phonological deviations as compared to children with moderate phonological deviations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)97-115
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Communication Disorders
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Speech and Hearing
  • LPN and LVN


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