Anxiety and Stuttering Exploring a Complex Relationship Viewpoint
Viewpoint  |   February 01, 1999
Anxiety and Stuttering
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Ross G. Menzies
    Department of Behavioural Sciences and Australian Stuttering Research Centre, The University of Sydney
  • Mark Onslow
    Australian Stuttering Research Centre, The University of Sydney
  • Ann Packman
    Australian Stuttering Research Centre, The University of Sydney
  • Contact author: Australian Stuttering Research Centre, P.O. Box 170, Lidcombe NSW 1825, Australia.
    Contact author: Australian Stuttering Research Centre, P.O. Box 170, Lidcombe NSW 1825, Australia.×
  • Corresponding author: e-mail: R.Menzies@cchs.usyd.edu.au
  • Corresponding author: e-mail: M.Onslow@cchs.usyd.edu.au
  • Corresponding author: e-mail: A.Packman@cchs.usyd.edu.au
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Fluency Disorders / Viewpoints
Viewpoint   |   February 01, 1999
Anxiety and Stuttering
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, February 1999, Vol. 8, 3-10. doi:10.1044/1058-0360.0801.03
History: Received March 26, 1998 , Accepted August 14, 1998
 
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, February 1999, Vol. 8, 3-10. doi:10.1044/1058-0360.0801.03
History: Received March 26, 1998; Accepted August 14, 1998
Anxiety is a complex psychological construct said to involve three components, namely the verbal-cognitive, behavioral, and physiological (see Marks, 1987). The most widely used index of the verbal-cognitive component has been the Subjective Units of Distress Scale (SUDS) in which a subject is asked to give a simple verbal estimate of severity of anxiety on a 0–100 analog scale (Marks, 1987). Other verbal-cognitive measures include worry scales and similar self-report instruments in which an individual gives a subjective report on past or present emotional reactions to listed situations or events. The behavioral component of anxiety typically refers to escape or avoidance behaviors, such as leaving or avoiding anxiety-provoking situations, activities, or objects. Physiological indices of anxiety most widely used have included heart rate, galvanic skin response, respiration, and cortisol changes. Whereas these three components of anxiety—verbal, behavioral, and physiological—may increase or decrease in concert in some individuals and situations, they are said to be “loosely coupled” because it has been repeatedly demonstrated that one measure may increase while another decreases or fails to change in a given individual in a given situation (Marks, 1987). Given this, “state” anxiety may be defined as a measurable increase in indices from any single subsystem described above at any particular point in time. On the other hand, “trait” anxiety refers to an individual’s general, characteristic level of anxiety that is independent of specific threatening environments.
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