The role of psychological processes in estimates of stuttering severity


Purpose: To examine the associations of trait anxiety (STAI), social anxiety (SIAS), depression (BDI-II), and personality features (ADP-IV) with three measures of stuttering severity: %SS, Stuttering Severity, Instrument, and the Overall Assessment of the Speaker's Experience of Stuttering. Method: Fifty adults with a history of stuttering served as participants. Participant scores on trait, anxiety, social anxiety, depression, and personality features were entered into a regression analysis, with the criterion variables (DVs) being: %SS, SSI-3, OASES total score. In order to explore the OASES, further, each of the four OASES subscales were also examined. A separate regression was conducted for, each dependent variable. Results: The OASES total score model was significant ( p<. .0001) and revealed that social anxiety and, trait anxiety were the only significant predictors, with medium effect sizes noted for both variables. In contrast, percent syllables stuttered and the SSI were not significantly associated with psychological, variables, suggesting that anxiety may not always be related to overt indicators of stuttering. Depression and personality dysfunction were not significantly associated with any measure of, stuttering severity. Conclusion: Anxiety in the form of social and trait anxiety are significantly associated with stuttering, severity as indicated by the OASES. Traditional procedures for assigning severity ratings to individuals, who stutter based on percent syllables stuttered and the Stuttering Severity Instrument are not, significantly related to psychological processes central to the stuttering experience. Depression and, personality characteristics do not meaningfully account for stuttering.Educational objectives: The reader will be able to: (a) differentiate forms of anxiety that are likely to be associated with stuttering (b) understand the importance of determining features of stuttering that go beyond the obvious, surface characteristics of stuttering frequency, and (c) discuss the important clinical and theoretical implications for understanding the degree of psychological dysfunction that is likely to be characteristic of those who stutter. © 2013 Elsevier Inc.

Publication Title

Journal of Fluency Disorders