Speech pathology student clinician attitudes and beliefs towards people who stutter: A mixed-method pilot study Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • Stuttering is a disorder of fluency that extends beyond its physical nature and has social, emotional and vocational impacts. Research shows that individuals often exhibit negative attitudes towards people who stutter; however, there is limited research on the attitudes and beliefs of speech pathology students towards people who stutter in Australia. Existing research is predominantly quantitative; whereas this mixed-method study placed an emphasis on the qualitative component. The purpose of this study was to explore the attitudes and beliefs of final year Australian speech pathology students towards people who stutter.This mixed-method study applied the Public Opinion Survey of Human Attributes - Stuttering (POSHA-S) and semi-structured interviews to gather data from final year speech pathology students from a major university in Australia.The overall qualitative findings identified that final year Australian speech pathology students exhibit positive attitudes towards people who stutter. The results also illustrated the role of education in influencing attitudes of students as well as increasing their confidence to work with people who stutter.This research revealed that Australian final year speech pathology students exhibit positive attitudes towards people who stutter. They displayed an understanding that people who stutter may have acquired traits such as shyness as a response to their personal situation and environment, rather than those traits being endemic to them. Results also suggested that education can play a role in creating confident student clinicians in their transition to practice, and positively influence their attitudes and beliefs.

publication date

  • 2016