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Research Article Open Access
Researchers have suggested that being bilingual may increase the likelihood of development of stuttering. This suggestion was recently discounted by the data that indicate bilingual children who do not stutter produce an atypically high number of speech disfluencies. Thus, bilingual children are not at increased risk for development of stuttering, but they do appear to be at increased risk for false positive diagnosis of stuttering. This risk may be further increased by persisting public misperception that being bilingual increases the likelihood that the child will develop stuttering. The present study explored whether speech-language pathologists (SLPs) inaccurately classify bilingualism as a risk factor for the onset and persistence of stuttering and what factors uniquely influence their perception of bilingualism as a risk factor. Participants included 207 speech-language pathologists recruited through the American Speech-Language Hearing Association Membership Directory. Participants completed web-based surveys addressing their generalized knowledge of perceived risk factors associated with stuttering including bilingualism. Preliminary results indicate that some, but not all speech-language pathologists view bilingualism as a risk factor. Results further indicate that clinical experiences and personal perspectives significantly contribute to this misperception.
Stuttering, Bilingualism, Risk factor, Persistence, Speech- Language Pathologists, Stuttering