Speech-Language Dissociations, Distractibility, and Childhood Stuttering Purpose This study investigated the relation among speech-language dissociations, attentional distractibility, and childhood stuttering. Method Participants were 82 preschool-age children who stutter (CWS) and 120 who do not stutter (CWNS). Correlation-based statistics (Bates, Appelbaum, Salcedo, Saygin, & Pizzamiglio, 2003) identified dissociations across 5 norm-based speech-language subtests. The Behavioral ... Research Article
Research Article  |   August 01, 2015
Speech-Language Dissociations, Distractibility, and Childhood Stuttering
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Chagit E. Clark
    Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN
  • Edward G. Conture
    Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN
  • Tedra A. Walden
    Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN
    Peabody College, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN
  • Warren E. Lambert
    Vanderbilt Kennedy Center, Nashville, TN
  • Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.
    Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication. ×
  • Correspondence to Chagit E. Clark: chagit.edery.clark@vanderbilt.edu
  • Editor: Krista Wilkinson
    Editor: Krista Wilkinson×
  • Associate Editor: Shelley Brundage
    Associate Editor: Shelley Brundage×
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Fluency Disorders / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Research Articles
Research Article   |   August 01, 2015
Speech-Language Dissociations, Distractibility, and Childhood Stuttering
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, August 2015, Vol. 24, 480-503. doi:10.1044/2015_AJSLP-14-0198
History: Received November 14, 2014 , Revised April 26, 2015 , Accepted May 14, 2015
 
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, August 2015, Vol. 24, 480-503. doi:10.1044/2015_AJSLP-14-0198
History: Received November 14, 2014; Revised April 26, 2015; Accepted May 14, 2015

Purpose This study investigated the relation among speech-language dissociations, attentional distractibility, and childhood stuttering.

Method Participants were 82 preschool-age children who stutter (CWS) and 120 who do not stutter (CWNS). Correlation-based statistics (Bates, Appelbaum, Salcedo, Saygin, & Pizzamiglio, 2003) identified dissociations across 5 norm-based speech-language subtests. The Behavioral Style Questionnaire Distractibility subscale measured attentional distractibility. Analyses addressed (a) between-groups differences in the number of children exhibiting speech-language dissociations; (b) between-groups distractibility differences; (c) the relation between distractibility and speech-language dissociations; and (d) whether interactions between distractibility and dissociations predicted the frequency of total, stuttered, and nonstuttered disfluencies.

Results More preschool-age CWS exhibited speech-language dissociations compared with CWNS, and more boys exhibited dissociations compared with girls. In addition, male CWS were less distractible than female CWS and female CWNS. For CWS, but not CWNS, less distractibility (i.e., greater attention) was associated with more speech-language dissociations. Last, interactions between distractibility and dissociations did not predict speech disfluencies in CWS or CWNS.

Conclusions The present findings suggest that for preschool-age CWS, attentional processes are associated with speech-language dissociations. Future investigations are warranted to better understand the directionality of effect of this association (e.g., inefficient attentional processes → speech-language dissociations vs. inefficient attentional processes ← speech-language dissociations).

Acknowledgments
This work was supported in part by National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders Grants 5R01DC000523-18 and 5R01DC006477-03 (awarded to Edward G. Conture), the National Center for Research Resources (awarded to Edward G. Conture), CTSA Grant 1 UL1 RR024975 (awarded to Vanderbilt University with Edward G. Conture as P.I.), a Vanderbilt University Discovery Grant (awarded to Edward G. Conture), and the National Stuttering Association's Canadeo Family Research Award (awarded to Chagit Edery Clark). The research reported herein does not reflect the views of the National Institutes of Health, the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, Vanderbilt University, or the National Stuttering Association. We thank James Bodfish and Robin Jones for reviews of earlier drafts of this article as well as Julie Anderson for her input at the initial stages of this study. We also extend our sincere appreciation to the participants and their families, who made this study possible.
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