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Thesis/Dissertation Seminars

Dissertation Defense: Life Partner Perceptions of the Emotional Impact of Stuttering

HPA II 101
April 26, 2018 @ 03:45 PM - 05:45 PM

The Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders program announces the Final Examination and Thesis Defense for Athanasia Svenning, candidate for the degree of M.A. in Communication Sciences and Disorders.

The aim of the present study is to investigate the extent to which life partners understand the emotional impact stuttering has on their loved one who stutters. This was accomplished by administering the Speech Situation Checklist - Emotional Reaction (SSC-ER), a subtest of the Behavior Assessment Battery (BAB; Vanryckeghem & Brutten, 2018), to the participants who stutter and a modified version of the SSC-ER to their life partner.

The SSC-ER results of PWS are in agreement with those from previous studies. Within-group gender and age analyses did not reveal a significant effect on the SSC-ER scores. PWS and life partner's scores did not differ to a statistically significant extent and correlate moderately, indicating that significant others do understand the emotional debilitative effect that stuttering can have on their partner Duration of romantic relationships was found not to be a variable that affects the total score of the self-report test. Both SSC-ER self-report tests show high internal reliability. For the PWS, all but two items correlated significantly with the total score. For the group of life partners, all but three items correlated significantly with the total score. PWS and their life partners generally showed item agreement as reflected in non-significant differences in most item scores, except for six items. These items center around specific words and reading.

The obtained information is therapeutically useful as it sheds light on how life partners perceive the level of anxiety of their partner who stutters. The SSC-ER data from the individual client can provide crucial information relative to PWS' treatment approach, therapeutic gains, and quality of life.