Date of Award

Spring 1983

Document Type



Communication Studies

First Advisor

Harry Smith

Second Advisor

Chris Dollaghan

Third Advisor

Jean Smith


Stuttering is generally considered to consist of three major components: (1) cognitive, (2) emotional, and (3) behavioral (Gronhovd, 1976). Each of these areas appears to be a somewhat specific and independent aspect of stuttering, and, as a consequence, each requires somewhat different strategies for assessment and management. The cognitive aspect deals with the stutterer's information and attitudes regarding normal speech, normal speakers fluency, stuttering, and how to deal with communication situa tions (Gronhovd, 1976). This area also includes the person's awareness of his disfluencies and his consequent conclusions about his adequacy as a speaker and a person. Discussion, counseling, and education comprise the primary strategies for remediation in this area. The emotional aspect of stuttering includes both the individual's level of general anxiety and the nature and extent of speech-related anxieties. It is important to deter mine if there is an abnormal amount of general anxiety or if the person feels anxiety primarily in relation to disfluency, words, sounds, and/or speech situations (Brutten
and Shoemaker, 1967, pp. 30-31). Generalized high anxiety suggests a need for the services of a trained psychologist. However, the more common speech-related anxieties can usually be managed by speech pathologists through one of several methods of systematic desensitization. The behavioral aspect has been traditionally viewed in terms of primary behaviors (repetitions and prolongations) and secondary behaviors (instrumentally-learned escape and avoidance behaviors). However, recent research suggests that a more molecular view of stuttering behavior is necessary (Shames & Sherrick, 1965, pp. 55-56} , including specific analysis and management of airflow (Adams, 1974, p. 36), phonetic transition and co-articulation (M. Wingate, 1969, pp. 107- 108), and tension (Gronhovd, 1975, p. 6), in addition to the usual elimination of the secondary behaviors. This view suggests that remedial programs aimed at modification of stuttering behavior need to be somewhat more complex and thorough than the currently popular approach of simply reinforcing fluent speech.