Abstract

Adults who stutter (AWS) are vulnerable to the development of various psychopathological symptoms, although prevalence data are mixed, and even less clarity exists as it relates to the factors that potentially influence their occurrence. The current study sought to shed light on the prevalence of self-reported psychopathology in AWS and aimed to identify relationships between affective, behavioral and cognitive (ABC) experiences of stuttering and psychological distress. This was based on AWS' reports of speech situation-specific anxiety and speech disruption, the use of behaviors to avoid or escape stuttering, and one's communication attitude. The self-reports administered to 40 AWS via Qualtrics, an online survey software, were subtests of the Behavior Assessment Battery for Adults who Stutter (BAB; Vanryckeghem & Brutten, 2018) and the Brief Symptom Inventory-18 (Deragotis, 2001). Participants' BAB scores approximated the normative data suggesting that the current sample corresponded to the psychosocial profile of AWS. Participants' indications of psychological distress were not found to differ from that of a non-clinical normative sample. Ten percent of participants met clinical thresholds for what is considered clinically significant distress. Overall, the current data provide evidence that, as a group, levels of psychopathology in this population approximate community samples, highlighting the existence of psychologically distressed subgroups of AWS. Regression analyses uncovered that the ABC factors of stuttering positively predicted participants' reports of levels of psychopathology. Among these factors, speech situation-specific anxiety had the strongest relationship to psychological distress, followed closely by one's report of situation-specific speech disruption. To a lesser, but still significant extent, a PWS' communication attitude predicted psychopathology. Finally, a weaker and less clear positive relationship between PWS' use of coping behaviors to avoid and/or escape stuttering and their levels of psychological distress was found.

Graduation Date

2021

Semester

Fall

Advisor

Vanryckeghem, Martine

Degree

Master of Arts (M.A.)

College

College of Health Professions and Sciences

Department

School of Communication Sciences and Disorders

Degree Program

Communication Sciences and Disorders

Format

application/pdf

Identifier

CFE0008882; DP0026161

Language

English

Release Date

12-15-2021

Length of Campus-only Access

None

Access Status

Masters Thesis (Open Access)

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