Author(s): Weidner ME, St Louis KO, Burgess ME, LeMasters SN
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Abstract PURPOSE: This study investigated attitudes of nonstuttering preschool and kindergarten children toward peers who stutter in order to identify differences by age groups and better understand the genesis of stuttering attitudes. The study also examined the use of a new stuttering attitudes instrument designed for use with young children. METHOD: The newly developed Public Opinion Survey on Human Attributes-Stuttering/Child was verbally administered to 27 preschool and 24 kindergarten children who do not stutter in the mid-Atlantic region of the USA. RESULTS: Overall, preschoolers held more negative stuttering attitudes than kindergarteners, but results were not uniformly in that direction. In both groups, the attribute of stuttering was viewed more negatively than individuals who stutter. Children viewed the potential of peers who stutter as quite positive, whereas their knowledge about and experience with stuttering were generally limited and some of their beliefs quite negative. CONCLUSIONS: Negative or uninformed stuttering attitudes among nonstuttering children begin as early as the preschool years. This study provides empirical evidence for the need to educate young children about the nature of stuttering and how to respond appropriately to peers who stutter. EDUCATIONAL OBJECTIVES: Readers should be able to: (a) describe attitudinal differences between kindergarteners and preschoolers toward peers who stutter; (b) describe the parameters of the POSHA-S/Child; (c) describe the nature of stuttering attitudes in young children relative to their beliefs and self reactions; and (d) describe the implications and future direction of stuttering attitude research in young children. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
This article was published in J Fluency Disord
and referenced in Journal of Speech Pathology & Therapy