Psychological correlates of biological and non-biological explanations for stuttering

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Purpose: This study examined whether people who stutter would associate biological and non-biological explanations of stuttering with the endorsement of stereotypes about people who stutter, prognostic expectations for the reduction of stuttering, feelings of guilt, self-blame, and shame about stuttering, and agency for speech modification. Method: This was a cross-sectional study including 372 adults who stutter. Participants completed a web survey with scales that measured their agreement with biological and non-biological models of stuttering; their endorsement of common stereotypes for people who stutter; prognostic expectations for reduced stuttering; feelings of guilt, self-blame, and shame about stuttering; and feelings of agency in their ability to modify their speech. Result: Biological explanations for stuttering were significantly correlated with reduced stereotype endorsement about people who stutter, lower prognostic expectations for reducing stuttering, and reduced feelings of guilt and self-blame regarding stuttering. Non-biological explanations for stuttering were significantly correlated with increased endorsement of negative stereotypes about people who stutter, increased prognostic expectations for reducing stuttering, and increased feelings of guilt, self-blame, and shame about stuttering. Conclusion: It is concluded that the implications of biological framing of stuttering among people who stutter are complex and should be well thought out by professionals. Explaining stuttering as biological, but responsive to personal and environmental influences, may lead to reduced guilt and self-blame, while at the same time fostering feelings of agency for speech modification.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Speech-Language Pathology
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Speech and Hearing
  • Research and Theory
  • Language and Linguistics
  • LPN and LVN
  • Otorhinolaryngology

Keywords

  • Stuttering
  • biological explanations
  • guilt

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