Personality dysfunction in adults who stutter: Another look


Purpose: Given reports of the frequent occurrence of personality disorders (PD) among individuals who stutter, this investigation was designed to determine the presence of personality disorders (PD) for individuals seeking treatment for stuttering, using a different self-report measure. Method: The sample included 50 adults who were undergoing treatment for stuttering. The participants also completed a self-report measure (Assessment of the DSM-IV Personality Disorders, ADP-IV) that is known to have good differential validity in the assessment of personality disorders as well as good convergent validity with a structured interview administered by a skilled mental health professional. Results: Four participants met threshold values for one personality disorder (PD) and one participant met criteria for two personality disorders. The remaining 45 participants (90%) did not meet criteria for a PD. Conclusion: Rates of observed PDs in this sample approximated rates that have been observed in general community samples using structured clinical interviews and trained interviewers. Related reports which have claimed high levels of personality disorders among adults who stutter appear to be inflated by the use of self-report devices that overestimate the occurrence and co-morbidity of these conditions. Implications for the treatment of adults who stutter are discussed.Educational objectives: The reader will be able to (a) summarize two basic perspectives of how individuals who stutter are influenced by the possibility of personality dysfunction (b) describe the factors that influence the detection of personality dysfunction using self-report procedures, discuss the important (c) theoretical and (d) clinical implications of accurately identifying personality dysfunction for adults who stutter. © 2013 Elsevier Inc.

Publication Title

Journal of Fluency Disorders