Subtyping stuttering I: A review

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


A reliable and practical subtype system of stuttering should enhance all related scientific work concerned with this disorder. Although a fair number of classification systems have been offered, to date, none has received wide recognition or has been routinely applied in research or clinical spheres. Whereas progress has been made in understanding and treating the disorder, for the most part stuttering continues to be viewed and addressed as a unitary problem. The objectives of the current article are to (a) highlight the motivation for identifying sub-types of stuttering, (b) outline the issues involved in researching subtypes, and (c) address the question of whether or not subtyping is plausible for this disorder. Toward these ends, a broad-based review of past concepts regarding subtypes of stuttering and stutterers is presented according to seven categories that reflect the various authors' conceptual or experimental approaches. Selected studies for each category are also presented to illustrate the research problems and challenges. It is concluded that islands of progress can be identified in subtype research, particularly in studies of children. It is recommended that future studies include multiple factors or domains in the data collection process, especially with young children during the formative years of the disorder, when substantial overlap in the development of several speech/language domains occurs. Educational objectives: (a) Readers will be able to describe the theory and research concerning the numerous attempts to subtype stuttering, particularly during the past 50 years; (b) Readers will be able to explain the general issues that need to be resolved in order to identify subtypes as well as current and future research strategies aimed at achieving these goals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)165-196
Number of pages32
JournalJournal of Fluency Disorders
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2007


  • Classification
  • Differentiation
  • Stuttering subtypes
  • Subgroups

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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