Emotional Reaction, Speech Disruption, Speech Situations


Studies conducted over the past decades have identified the presence of a greater amount of negative emotional reaction and speech disruption in particular speech situations among children who stutter, compared to those who do not (Brutten & Vanryckeghem, 2003b; Knudson, 1939; Meyers, 1986; Trotter, 1983). Laboratory investigations have been utilized to describe the particular situations that elicit the greatest or least amount of speech concern and fluency failures. More recently, in order to deal with the limitation of laboratory research, the use of self-report tests have gained popularity as a means of exploring the extent of negative emotional reaction and speech disruption in a wide array of speaking situations. However, the availability of such instruments for use with children has been limited. Toward this end, the Speech Situation Checklist (SSC) was designed for use with youngsters who do and do not stutter (Brutten 1965b, 2003b). Past investigations utilizing the SSC for Children have reported on reliability and validity information and provided useful normative data (Brutten & Vanryckeghem, 2003b; Trotter, 1983). Additionally, the findings from those research studies have consistently revealed statistically significant differences in speech-related negative emotional response and speech disorganization between children who do and do not stutter. However, since its initial construction, the SSC has undergone modifications and paucity of normative data for the current American form of the SSC has restricted its clinical use. To fill this void, the revised SSC for children was utilized in the present study to obtain current normative and comparative data for American grade-school stuttering and nonstuttering children. Additionally, the effect of age and gender (and their interaction) on the emotional reaction and speech disruption scores of the SSC was examined. The SSC self-report test was administered to 79 nonstuttering and 19 stuttering elementary and middle-school children between the ages of 6 and 13. Only those nonstutterers who showed no evidence of a speech, language, reading, writing or learning difficulty, or any additional motor or behavioral problems were included in the subject pool. Similarly, only those stuttering participants who did not demonstrate any language or speech disorder other than stuttering were contained in the study. Measures of central tendency and variance indicated an overall mean score of 78.26 (SD=19.34) and 85.69 (SD=22.25) for the sample of nonstuttering children on the Emotional Reaction section and Speech Disruption section of the SSC, respectively. For the group of stutterers the overall mean for Emotional Reaction was 109.53 (SD=34.35) and 109.42 (SD=21.33) for the Speech Disruption section. This difference in group means proved to be statistically significant for both emotional response (t=3.816, p=. 001) and fluency failures (t=4.169, p=. 000), indicating that, as a group, children who stutter report significantly more in the way of emotional response to and fluency failures in the situations described in the SSC, compared to their fluent peers. Significant high correlations were also obtained between the report of emotional response and the extent of fluency failures in the various speaking situations for both the group of nonstuttering (.70) and stuttering (.71) children. As far as the effect of age and gender is concerned, the present study found no significant difference in the ER and SD scores between the male and female or the younger and older group of nonstuttering children. Interestingly, a significant age by gender interaction was obtained for the nonstuttering children, only on the Speech Disruption section of the test.


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Graduation Date





Vanryckeghem, Martine


Master of Arts (M.A.)


College of Health and Public Affairs


Communicative Disorders

Degree Program

Communicative Disorders








Release Date

December 2004

Length of Campus-only Access


Access Status

Masters Thesis (Open Access)