A prospective 14-year follow-up study of the persistence and recovery of stuttering

Jóhanna T. Einarsdóttir, Brynja Hermannsdóttir, Kathryn Crowe

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Purpose: To document the trajectory of early childhood stuttering longitudinally for 14. years with a consideration on the features of overt and covert stuttering related to recovery status. Method: Thirty-eight participants were observed longitudinally at three different time points: early childhood (Occasion 1), middle childhood (Occasion 2), and late adolescence (Occasion 3). Data collection involved speech samples and reports of stuttering experiences. Recovery on Occasion 3 was estimated through analysis of speech samples, parent and expert judgments, and self- judgement. Two categories of persistence were used: persistent-subjective (no observable stuttering) and persistent-objective (observable stuttering). Results: The recovery rate was 65.6 %. The majority of the participants showed minimal disfluent speech with 88 % showing less than 1 % syllables stuttered and 97 % showing less than 3 % syllables stuttered in the collected speech samples. All participants classified as persistent reported covert symptoms of stuttering. No relapses in recovery were observed between Occasion 2 and Occasion 3. Late recovery was only observed for those classified as persistent-subjective on Occasion 2. About 64 % of the participants showing observable stuttering (persistent-objective) on Occasion 2 showed no observable stuttering (persistent-subjective) on Occasion 3. Conclusions: Children continue to recover from early childhood stuttering as they age.The inclusion of self-reports adds to the understanding of recovery especially concerning the covert stuttering behaviours.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106058
JournalJournal of Fluency Disorders
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2024


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