Author(s): Savelkoul EM, Zebrowski PM, Feldstein S, ColeHarding S
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Abstract Coordinated interpersonal timing (CIT) is a measure of "conversational congruence," or "attunement," and refers to the degree to which the temporal aspects of the vocal behaviors of co-conversationalists are correlated over the course of a conversation [Jasnow, M., & Feldstein, S. (1986). Adult-like temporal characteristics of mother-infant vocal interaction. Child Development, 57, 754-761]. In the present study, CIT was examined in a group of children who stutter (CWS), and a matched group of nonstuttering children (CWDNS; children who do not stutter), during conversations with either their mother or father recorded in two separate sessions (i.e., mother-child, father-child). Separate audio signals for both the child and parent (mother or father) were analyzed using AVTA software, which allowed for the quantification of sound and silence patterns in simultaneous speech. Squared cross-correlations (i.e., coefficients of CIT) for the durations of five vocal behavior states were obtained for each subject, through time series regression analysis using lag procedures. Vocal state behaviors within conversational turns included: vocalization, pauses, turn switching pauses, and interruptive and noninterruptive simultaneous speech. Results indicated that CWS and their parents showed mutual influence (i.e., CIT in both directions, child to parent and parent to child, or bi-directional influence) for more vocal state behaviors than did CWDNS and their parents. In addition, the CWS exhibited CIT with their parents for the durations of more vocal state behaviors than did the CWDNS (i.e., unidirectional influence). Findings suggest that children who stutter may be more easily influenced by the subtle timing aspects of conversation. Taken further, some of these children may perceive conversations with their parents as either challenging or difficult because of an element of unpredictability brought into conversations by the production of stuttering, the social skills of the child, and the nature of the parent-child relationship. Consequently, these children may be engaging in more pervasive coordination of the temporal characteristics of their speech to those of their conversational partner, as a mechanism by which to more effectively manage verbal interaction. EDUCATIONAL OBJECTIVES: After reading this paper, the learner will be able to: (1) describe the phenomenon of coordinated interpersonal timing (CIT); (2) summarize research findings in CIT as they apply to the verbal interactions of children and their parents; (3) summarize research findings in parent-stuttering child interaction, especially those related to the temporal aspects of both parent and child conversational speech, and (4) discuss the applicability of the findings from the present study to the treatment of childhood stuttering.
This article was published in J Fluency Disord
and referenced in Journal of Depression and Anxiety