Date of Award


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Departmental Honors


Communicative Disorders and Deaf Education


Stuttering is one of the most complex of all speech and language disorders (Caruso, Conture, & Colton, 1988). Understanding of its etiology and treatment is vague, yet growing. Much research is needed in the area of disfluency to increase our knowledge of the disorder and to provide a clearer picture of how to improve therapeutic intervention. Routine evaluation of disfluency typically includes the assessment of stuttering frequency and rate. However, as stated by Ingham (1984), the minimum evaluation data collected (fluency and rate) should be supplemented by the assessment of a number of additional aspects of speech quality (Ingham, 1984, cited by Franken, 1985). ''When the evaluation is carried out with the intention to improve treatment practice (Ingham, 1984), then it will be obvious that overall descriptions of the speech quality will not suffice, but that elaborate descriptions of the speech quality before and after treatment are necessary (Franken, 1985) .'' One of the conclusions drawn from Franken's study (1985) was that acoustic measurements have proven to be sufficiently sensitive to measure the effects of stuttering treatment on a number of relevant aspects of speech quality. Some of these relevant aspects of speech quality include temporal measures of laryngeal behavior such as vowel durations, VOT (voice onset time), and voicing characteristics.

In the present study, these laryngeal behaviors in a young stutterer's fluent speech are acoustically measured and examined. The research questions address the changes that occur in the temporal characteristics of a young stutterer's fluent speech as a result of direct fluency treatment.