Covert Stuttering: Investigation of the Paradigm Shift From Covertly Stuttering to Overtly Stuttering Purpose Covert stuttering is a type of stuttering experience that occurs when a person who stutters conceals his or her stutter from others, attempting to be perceived as a nonstuttering individual. A person who covertly stutters experiences the cognitive and emotional elements of stuttering with minimum overt behavioral symptoms. Individuals ... Research Article
Research Article  |   October 19, 2018
Covert Stuttering: Investigation of the Paradigm Shift From Covertly Stuttering to Overtly Stuttering
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Jill E. Douglass
    Sacred Heart University, Fairfield, CT
  • Maria Schwab
    Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN
  • Jacqueline Alvarado
    Sacred Heart University, Fairfield, CT
  • 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 Jill E. Douglass: DouglassJ@sacredheart.edu
  • Editor-in-Chief: Sharon Millard
    Editor-in-Chief: Sharon Millard×
  • Publisher Note: This article is part of the Special Issue: The 11th Oxford Dysfluency Conference.
    Publisher Note: This article is part of the Special Issue: The 11th Oxford Dysfluency Conference.×
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Fluency Disorders / Special Issue: The 11th Oxford Dysfluency Conference / Research Articles
Research Article   |   October 19, 2018
Covert Stuttering: Investigation of the Paradigm Shift From Covertly Stuttering to Overtly Stuttering
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, October 2018, Vol. 27, 1235-1243. doi:10.1044/2018_AJSLP-ODC11-17-0190
History: Received November 16, 2017 , Revised February 5, 2018 , Accepted May 18, 2018
 
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, October 2018, Vol. 27, 1235-1243. doi:10.1044/2018_AJSLP-ODC11-17-0190
History: Received November 16, 2017; Revised February 5, 2018; Accepted May 18, 2018
Web of Science® Times Cited: 1

Purpose Covert stuttering is a type of stuttering experience that occurs when a person who stutters conceals his or her stutter from others, attempting to be perceived as a nonstuttering individual. A person who covertly stutters experiences the cognitive and emotional elements of stuttering with minimum overt behavioral symptoms. Individuals who covertly stutter are able to provide insight into their experiences in attempting to be perceived as nonstuttering individuals. Covert stuttering is a topic that continues to be in need of a formal definition. The current investigation is utilizing thematic analysis to provide a detail-rich investigation of the paradigm shift from covertly stuttering to overtly stuttering.

Method The current investigation is a qualitative analysis of individuals' transition process from covertly stuttering to overtly stuttering. Real-time video interviews were conducted with the use of open-ended phenomenological interview questions. Interviews were transcribed, and thematic analysis of interview transcripts was conducted to investigate the covertly to overtly stuttering process for participants.

Results The findings provide insight into a paradigm shift that occurs when individuals who covertly stutter begin to outwardly identify themselves and allow for overt stuttering. The primary theme was a paradigm shift in the 6 participants' mindset regarding stuttering; additional details are provided in the subthemes: attending speech therapy, meeting other people who stutter, and a psychological low point. The details of the covert-to-overt stuttering conversion are documented with the use of direct quotations.

Conclusion The evidence suggests the various intricacies of the experiences of persons who are covert. Clinical implications of these findings for assessing and treating individuals who covertly stutter are discussed.

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