Cross-cultural studies of stuttering and dyslexiaCross-cultural studies of the stuttering prevalence is widely discussed in the book. It is claimed that there is a positive correlation between the presence of choral singing traditions and the higher prevalence of stuttering in a population. The book surveys the existing literature on the cross-cultural study of stuttering and it is suggested that on one hand European and particularly Sub-Saharan African populations have higher stuttering prevalence, and on another hand Native American, Australian Aboriginal and East Asian populations have much lower stuttering prevalence. Cross-cultural studies were very active in early and middle of the 20th century, particularly under the influence of the works of Wendell Johnson, who claimed that the onset of stuttering was connected to the cultural expectations and the pressure put on young children by anxious parents. Johnson claimed there were cultures where stuttering, and even the word "stutterer", were absent (for example, among some tribes of Native Americans). Later studies found that this claim was not supported by the facts, so the influence of cultural factors in stuttering research declined. It is generally accepted by contemporary scholars that stuttering is present in every culture and in every race, although the attitude towards the actual prevalence differs. Some believe stuttering occurs in all cultures and races at similar rates, about 1% of general population (and is about 5% among young children) all around the world. A US-based study indicated that there were no racial or ethnic differences in the incidence of stuttering in preschool children. At the same time, there are cross-cultural studies indicating that the difference between cultures may exist. For example, summarizing prevalence studies, E. Cooper and C. Cooper conclude: “On the basis of the data currently available, it appears the prevalence of fluency disorders varies among the cultures of the world, with some indications that the prevalence of fluency disorders labeled as stuttering is higher among black populations than white or Asian populations” 
Different regions of the world are researched very unevenly. Understandably, the largest number of studies had been conducted in European countries and in North America, where the experts agree on the mean estimate to be about 1% of the general population (Bloodtein, 1995. A Handbook on Stuttering). African populations, particularly from West Africa, might have the highest stuttering prevalence in the world—reaching in some populations 5%, 6% and even over 9%. Many regions of the world are not researched sufficiently, and for some major regions there are no prevalence studies at all (for example, in China). Some claim the reason for this might be a lower incidence in general population in China. Jordania suggested that the differences in stuttering prevalence may have a genetic basis
Sunday, December 26, 2010
Book on choral singing and stuttering.
I found a wikipedia entry for Who Asked the First Question? The Origins of Human Choral Singing, Intelligence, Language and Speech, a book authored by Joseph Jordania, a ethnomusicologist and evolutionary musicologis. Part of the book deals with stuttering:
by Tom Weidig