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The Relationship Between Anxiety And Stuttering In Adolescents

1627 words - 7 pages

What is the relationship between anxiety levels and stuttering in adolescents? The answer is still unclear. Many researchers have attempted to find out whether stuttering causes anxiety or if it is vice versa. Adolescence is a very emotional time, in which teens try to fit in and create their own identity and are experiencing who they want to become. Having a speech problem only makes the phase of adolescence the more stressing and difficult. That is why I wanted to see if adolescents who stutter have higher anxiety levels than fluent adolescents. One thing that has been proven however, is that anxiety levels in adolescents seem to be higher when the stuttering adolescents has had treatment for the disorder. This paper will review the outcomes of four different studies that looked at the relationship between stuttering and anxiety in adolescents.
Blood, Blood, Maloney, Meyer, & Qualls (2007) examined the anxiety levels in adolescents who stutter to increase their understanding of the role of anxiety in stuttering across the lifespan. The participants were 36 students, chosen from public schools in Pennsylvania, who were in the 7th through 12th grade. However, only participants who have had treatment for their stuttering were included in the study. The control groups were chosen from public schools as well, and were chosen to match the stuttering participants in grade, gender, ethnicity and approximate age. To assess the stuttering severity of the participants, the Stuttering Severity Insturment-3 (SSI-3) was used. The outcomes classified the participants’ stuttering as either mild, moderate, severe, or very severe (profound). In measuring anxiety levels the researchers used the Revised Children’s Manifest Anxiety Scale (RCMAS). This questionnaire had four subscales: Physiological Anxiety, Worry/Oversensitivity, Social Concerns/Concentration, and a Lie subscale. The lie subscale in this study was used as a form of validity. The RCMAS being a self-report questionnaire would be problematic in terms of validity because sometimes self-reports can be inaccurate or answered in a manner that the participants think is appropriate. In other words the participants might answer the questions in a way to please the researchers, thinking of what the researchers want as an answer apposed to the real answer. This study also measured self-esteem in the participants by using the Rosenberg’s Self-Esteem Scale (RSES). From these 3 measures the results revealed that there were no significant difference between the scores of the stuttering participants and the control group. 83% of the adolescents who stutter and 95% of adolescents who do not stutter earned scores within the normal range (Blood et al., 2007). This study proved that anxiety levels in adolescents who stutter were not significantly different than those of the fluent participants.
Mulcahy, Hennessey, Beilby, & Byrnes (2008) aimed to find the relationship between anxiety problems in adolescents who...

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