Clients Who Imitate Their Own Stuttering Patterns Claim Favorable Effects People who stutter are more likely to perceive the “voluntary stuttering” treatment approach as beneficial if they use an aspect of it in which they mimic their own particular dysfluencies, a new study finds. Researchers from the University of Texas at Austin surveyed a group of people who stutter, finding ... Research in Brief
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Research in Brief  |   November 01, 2016
Clients Who Imitate Their Own Stuttering Patterns Claim Favorable Effects
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Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Fluency Disorders / Research in Brief
Research in Brief   |   November 01, 2016
Clients Who Imitate Their Own Stuttering Patterns Claim Favorable Effects
The ASHA Leader, November 2016, Vol. 21, 13. doi:10.1044/leader.RIB2.21112016.13
The ASHA Leader, November 2016, Vol. 21, 13. doi:10.1044/leader.RIB2.21112016.13
People who stutter are more likely to perceive the “voluntary stuttering” treatment approach as beneficial if they use an aspect of it in which they mimic their own particular dysfluencies, a new study finds.
Researchers from the University of Texas at Austin surveyed a group of people who stutter, finding that clients also may feel more positively about the effectiveness of voluntary stuttering when they use it beyond their clinician’s office. The research was published in the American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology.
Voluntary stuttering is a method used to reduce fear, anxiety or negative emotions associated with stuttering. By voluntarily stuttering, clients show acceptance and acknowledgement of their stuttering to the person they’re speaking with, aiming to decrease feelings of helplessness and loss of control during the moment.
The researchers—including first-listed author Courtney T. Byrd, associate professor in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at UT Austin—note that voluntary stuttering is also sometimes called “negative practice,” “pseudostuttering” or “bouncing.” There are also three different types of voluntary stuttering: imitation of the person’s own stuttering; easy, effortless repetition (“bouncing”); and easy, effortless prolongation (“sliding”).
From a 45-question survey of 206 people who stutter (130 men and 76 women, ranging in age from 18 to 85 with an average age of 41), the authors found that people who imitate the patterns of their own stuttering perceive more positive affective, behavioral and cognitive benefits from voluntary stuttering. They also found that although many respondents were initially hesitant to try the technique, for fear that it might be ineffective and/or awkward, they were much more supportive of it once they had initially tried it.
Previous studies have examined voluntary stuttering in terms of reduction in stuttering frequency when reading, usually focusing on bouncing or prolongations, but few have looked into how clients perceive the technique.
“For those respondents who produced voluntary stutters that more closely matched their real stutters, the use of voluntary stuttering was considered to be significantly more fear-reducing, as well as avoidance-reducing, when compared with those persons who reported use of easy bouncing and prolongations,” the authors note in the study. Those who produced voluntary stutters that were more like their real stutters also were more likely to report increased confidence, a decrease in physical tension felt during speech, less frequent and severe stuttering, and an improved quality of life.
Based on these data, Byrd and her colleagues suggest that clinicians encourage clients to use voluntary stuttering matched to their own patterns outside of the speech session as a way to increase clients’ perceptions of the strategy’s benefits.
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November 2016
Volume 21, Issue 11