The persistence of stuttering behaviours in older people Academic Article uri icon


  • OBJECTIVE: To measure and describe the speech characteristics of a group of 16 people over the age of 55 years who self-reported stuttering into adulthood. DESIGN: A cross-sectional, descriptive design was used. SUBJECTS: Sixteen participants were divided into two groups: a group of 12, (mean age 68.8) who self-reported that they continued to stutter in older age, and a group of four who self-reported recovery from stuttering in adulthood (mean age 75.5). METHODS: Speech samples during face-to-face and telephone conversations were analysed for stuttering frequency (%SS) and stuttering behaviours using the Lidcombe Behavioural Data Language. RESULTS: Descriptive statistics showed that all participants in the persistent stuttering group evidenced stuttering with varying severity. In the group of four who reported recovery, one participant presented with measurable stuttering behaviours in the conversational and telephone sample. Participants, in the group who reported persistence of stuttering evidenced the full range of stuttering behaviours seen in younger adults. CONCLUSION: Stuttering is a disorder that may persist for some beyond 55 years of age. This result compels investigation to explore how stuttering impacts on activity and participation for this older group.

publication date

  • January 2009