Measuring stuttering in preschool-aged children across different languages: An international study

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Journal Article
Folia Phoniatrica et Logopaedica, 2015, 67, (5), pp. 221-230
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© 2016 S. Karger AG, Basel. Background/Aims: Many speech-language pathologists (SLPs) are working in linguistically diverse communities and have to identify and measure stuttering in a language other than their own. The aim of the present study was to extend our understanding of how well SLPs can measure stuttering in other languages and to encourage collaboration between SLPs across cultures. Methods: Speech samples consisted of seven preschool-Aged children each speaking one of the following languages: Danish, English, French, German, Greek, Italian, and Persian (Farsi). The judges were classified in seven groups of SLPs (n = 170) each speaking one of the seven languages of the children and two more English-speaking groups. Each judge rated the severity of stuttering in each child using a 10-point scale. The study was conducted over the Internet. Results: Overall, the judges' proficiency in a child's language was not systematically related to the variability and agreement of the severity ratings, accounting for maximally 4.6% of the variance. Conclusion: SLPs should not be overly concerned about the appropriateness of their severity ratings if they feel less proficient in the native language of the stuttering children. It may also be encouraging for beginning clinicians that the severity ratings were not systematically related to professional experience.
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