Title

The Perceptions of Adolescents Who Stutter Regarding Communication with their Parents

Date of Award

2011

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Department

Communication Disorders

First Advisor

Rodney Gabel (Committee Chair)

Second Advisor

Roger Colcord (Committee Member)

Third Advisor

Alex Goberman (Committee Member)

Fourth Advisor

Margaret Booth (Committee Member)

Fifth Advisor

Jean Gerard (Committee Member)

Abstract

This study used a mixed methods approach to explore the perceptions of adolescents who stutter (AWS) between the ages of 12 and 17 related to communication with parents and other significant people about stuttering. In addition, this study sought to better understand the relationship between general communication levels between AWS and their parents and how general communication was related to discussing stuttering. Participants took part in a semi-structured interview and completed the Communication about Stuttering Inventory (CASI) and the Parent-Adolescent Communication Scale (PACS).Responses to these two questionnaires were used to supplement the thematic analysis for participants. Findings from the interviews revealed four major themes and ten minor themes. Major themes consisted of (1) discussions with parents; (2) decisions about speech therapy; (3) types of parental assistance; and (4) discussions with others. Minor themes were (1) preference to talk with mothers; (2) speech techniques and general information; (3) parents' idea to begin speech therapy or(4) participants' idea to begin speech therapy; (5) reminding to use techniques and providing advice; (6) practicing speech techniques together; (7) good listening skills and not interrupting; (8) not directly talked about with friends; (9) rarely discussed with siblings; and (10) sharing experiences with other family members who stutter. Group comparisons between mothers and fathers revealed that participants communicated more with mothers about stuttering versus fathers. In addition, open communication levels were related to levels of communication about stuttering among both mothers and fathers.