Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Are kids who stutter more sensitive?

At Oxford, Per Alm showed that most research on emotional reactive / sensitivity is far from conclusive. He specifically referred to an article in the Washington Post. In response to a question Per said that the research group around Conture did not really respond to his criticism. You can see a brief episode of this debate here.

I am going to look at this in detail, too, and I'll write a few posts.  I am getting a bit bored with the statistics on the Lidcombe trials, and may be I should move to other fields. ;-) Unfortunately, two rather influential professors are deeply involved in this research... never mind.

3 comments:

Leo said...

Tom,

Did you see this interesting study from New Zeland:

Study discredits anxiety as cause of childhood stuttering

Olivier said...

Jane Fraser herself replies against that theory....but what about chemical anxiety ?

Leo said...

Study discredits anxiety as cause of childhood stuttering

Feb. 2008 - University of Canterbury research is challenging the notion that stuttering in children could be linked to personal anxiety.

Research by Bianca Phaal throws new light on children who stutter.
Bianca Phaal, a masters student in the Department of Communication Disorders, has just completed a study looking at the anxiety levels of a group of three and four-year-olds who were at the onset of stuttering and compared this with a control group of non-stuttering children.

She examined anxiety by collecting saliva samples from each child and measured the steroid levels of a substance called "cortisol". Cortisol is a hormone released during periods of heightened anxiety, and can be measured in saliva by chewing on a dental roll. She also conducted communication apprehension tests with the children and surveyed their parents, asking them to rate their children’s anxiety levels in different situations.

Working with biochemist Dr John Lewis (Steroid and Immunobiochemistry Laboratory, Canterbury District Health Board), Bianca found no higher anxiety levels in children who stutter compared to non-stuttering children.

“There were no significant differences between the children who stutter and those who don’t according to either of the measures of anxiety or the communication apprehension measure, neither was there any relationship between stuttering severity and anxiety or communication apprehension,” Bianca said.

“Results of this study suggested that generalised anxiety and communication apprehension are not associated with early childhood stuttering, therefore it is unlikely anxiety is the root cause of stuttering.

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