Communication Disorders Ph.D. Dissertations


Coping with Stuttering

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


Communication Disorders/Speech-Language Pathology

First Advisor

Rodney Gabel (Advisor)

Second Advisor

Roger Colcord (Committee Member)

Third Advisor

Alexander Goberman (Committee Member)

Fourth Advisor

Nancy Orel (Committee Member)


The purpose of this study was to investigate how people who stutter (PWS) cope with stuttering. A concurrent mixed method design was utilized to examine how experiences, knowledge, and career choice effected how PWS coped with and accepted their stuttering. Sixty- eight participants responded to a 7 item, open and closed ended survey. The closed ended questions were on a 9 point likert scale with 1 being a positive attribute and 9 being a negative attribute. The completed surveys were analyzed using quantitative and qualitative data analysis. The results of this study suggested that successful coping with stuttering and acceptance of stuttering share several common themes: 1) managing stuttering with no negative impact, 2) variability of stuttering, and 3) speech therapy and techniques. Common themes were also shared by participants who were unsuccessfully coping and not accepting their stuttering: 1) avoidance and 2) stuttering can inhibit life. Significant correlations suggested that PWS self-report to coping effectively and being more accepting of their stuttering when they self-reported less severe stuttering. Another significant correlation was that acceptance of stuttering and coping with stuttering were related as was seen with the themes. In addition, stuttering modification and fluency shaping, along with counseling were found to be quite successful for the participants in this study. Other treatment approaches, such as use of devices and medication were self-reported to be less effective. Finally, the current research findings were discussed in the context of future research.