Early stuttering, temperament and anxiety: Two hypotheses Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • PURPOSE: The topic of temperament and early stuttering and the extent to which it involves anxiety is theoretically and clinically relevant. The topic can contribute to theory development and clinical practices with early stuttering. METHOD: We present a review of the empirical literature for this area with a view to determining which of two hypotheses might be true. The first is that, for the population of those who stutter, unusual temperament is a causal factor for the development of the disorder and its later association with anxiety. The second hypothesis is that for the population of those who stutter the developmental manifestation of anxiety is an effect of stuttering. Both hypotheses attempt to account for the well-known association of anxiety with chronic stuttering. RESULTS: A firm conclusion about the matter would be premature at present because the literature involved is limited and contains some inconsistencies. We suggest some quantitative and qualitative directions for future research. We argue also that the only way to resolve the matter is with longitudinal studies of cohorts ascertained prior to stuttering onset. CONCLUSION: Conclusive findings about the matter can only emerge when research extends beyond its modest scope of 10 interpretable publications. EDUCATIONAL OBJECTIVES: The reader will be able to: (a) describe temperament and the role it plays during anxiety development, (b) explain two alternative hypotheses which implicate temperament in early childhood stuttering; (c) describe current knowledge regarding temperament similarities and differences between stuttering and control children, and (d) discuss the theoretical and clinical implications of understand the relationship between temperament, anxiety and early stuttering.

authors

  • Kefalianos, Elaina
  • Onslow, Mark
  • Block, Susan
  • Menzies, Ross
  • Reilly, Sheena

publication date

  • September 2012