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Factors influencing persistence and recovery in stuttering: The role of ethnicity, self-esteem and bullying

Smith, K; (2007) Factors influencing persistence and recovery in stuttering: The role of ethnicity, self-esteem and bullying. Doctoral thesis , UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Background: Early research has shown that people who stutter tend to have close to average self-esteem. However, there has been limited previous research on how bullying affects stuttering outcome and no studies have looked at ethnicity and the persistence or recovery of a person's stutter. Also, the relationship between 1) self- esteem, 2) bullying and 3) ethnicity on the persistence or recovery of stuttering in the same group of individuals has not been previously investigated. Aim: This study investigated if self-esteem, experiences of bullying and ethnicity predicted whether people would persist or recover from stuttering in a sample of 82 young people from ages 8 to 22 years, who were diagnosed as people who stutter. Method: The 82 participants were divided into a persistent and a recovered group, and separated into children and adolescents in order to assess their self-esteem using Harter's (1985a 1988a) Self-Perception Profiles for Children and Adolescents, respectively. A questionnaire (Appendix 2), devised in the Department of Psychology at University College London, was used to assess bullying experiences. Finally, participants classified themselves as 'white' or 'non-white' and stated whether they spoke only English at home or other languages. Results: The /-tests performed on the self- esteem data for all participants (when measured by competency in specific Harter (1985a 1988a) domains) was not significantly below the average for fluent people, and were even higher than their peers in some domains. Using Chi Square analysis, the incidence of bullying was reported to be significantly associated with stuttering outcome (p< 0.001). Logistic regression was employed to predict discrete outcome of persistence or recovery in stuttering using the data collected on the participant's self- esteem and bullying and their ethnicity and primary language used. The measures that contributed most significantly were the self-esteem domains of Global Self-Worth and Mean Discrepancy Scores. Conclusions: In line with previous studies by Blood et al. (2003) and Yovetich et al. (2000), all the participants were close to average or higher self-esteem than their fluent peers. It was found that the incidence of bullying was higher in people who stutter than the estimates in previous studies done with young people throughout the United Kingdom. The predictive model indicates that trait self- esteem (Leary, 1999) could be an indication of stuttering outcome. These results are discussed in relation to support needed to be given to people who stutter to increase the chance of them recovering from their stutter.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: Factors influencing persistence and recovery in stuttering: The role of ethnicity, self-esteem and bullying
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by ProQuest.
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Language and Cognition
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1568430
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