Honors Theses

Date of Award

Spring 5-9-2020

Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis


Communication Sciences and Disorders

First Advisor

Gregory Snyder

Relational Format



This study measured perceptions of a 12-year-old boy who stutters, relative to perceived speech skills and personal characteristics, as a function of seven potential stuttering disclosure conditions, featuring either a personal verbal disclosure, written disclosure, or no disclosure, delivered by various authors (i.e., self/child, mother, teacher). 641 participants college-aged adults were randomly assigned to one of seven stuttering disclosure groups: no disclosure control, verbal self-disclosure, written self-disclosure, verbal mother disclosure, written mother disclosure, verbal teacher disclosure, or written teacher disclosure. Participants in the control group viewed a brief video of a 12-year-old male who stutters reciting a short passage. Participants in the experimental groups viewed a disclosure statement followed by the same video used in the control condition. Immediately following the video, participants completed a survey quantifying their perceptions of the child who stutters relative to his speech skills and personal characteristics. Results from this study are consistent with previous research indicating positive changes in perceived characteristics of a child who stutters following a verbal disclosure, with perceived improvement particularly through verbal self-disclosure and verbal teacher disclosure. Positive perceptual changes were also perceived within the written mother-disclosure group, while written self-disclosure presented more perceived negative perceptions. Overall, the verbal disclosure was associated with more positive perceptual shifts of a child who stutters when compared to the written stuttering disclosure. While the use computer-mediated communication (CMC) is rapidly growing, research reveals that traits related to social anxiety are positively correlated with online communication. Additionally, the use of CMC removes multiple facets of communication that can lead to inaccurate or negative interpretations of a speaker, therefore making the use of CMC less desirable when compared to verbal communication for the disclosure of stuttering.

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