Education and the Changing the Perceptions of Stuttering

Tiffani Kittilstved


The purpose of this research is to determine how stuttering is viewed, how the perceptions of stuttering have changed over time, and whether education about stuttering will alter listener’s perceptions toward the disorder and the speaker.  One of the most widely and effectively used therapy techniques associated with Successful Stuttering Management is self-advertising.  This therapy technique involves stutterers notifying their listener that they stutter.  Studies have shown that listeners generally react more positively towards stutterers who self-advertise than those who do not.  My research takes this idea, that the education about stuttering positively alters listener’s perceptions towards the speaker, further, by analyzing the differences in how stuttering is perceived in groups who are educated about stuttering and groups who are not.  The methodology that I used for my research is that I initially did an extensive literature review of the previously published studies that have looked at how stuttering is perceived and how the perceptions have changed over time.  Now, I will be conducting research in the form of a two part study.  For the first study, I will be interviewing college students in General Education classes at Eastern Washington University to understand how stuttering is viewed from the general public.  I will use the data collected from my first study to make a survey about the perceptions of stuttering.  I will then survey students to understand how stuttering is viewed using a larger sample size.  These students will be split into two groups.  The first group will simply answer the survey questions.  The second group will receive a brief education about stuttering and then answer the survey questions.  The finding from these two groups will be compared and analyzed to see if there is a significant enough difference to infer that simple education about stuttering will positively alter perceptions about the disorder and the stutterer.  The results of this research study could be used to advocate for an increase in the education of stuttering in order to reduce the stigma associated with the disorders and the speakers.


Stuttering; Education, Perceptions

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