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Prosem Lecture: Social Cognition and Communication Attitude in Childhood Stuttering

February 24, 2022 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Presenter: Katie L. Winters, ABD, CCC-SLP, Doctoral candidate, Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences, Clinical research fellow and speech-language pathologist, Arthur M. Blank Center for Stuttering Education and Research, The University of Texas at Austin
Topic: Social Cognition and Communication Attitude in Childhood Stuttering

Although research demonstrates that adults with persistent stuttering experience adverse psychosocial, emotional, and financial consequences, including increased rates of anxiety/depression and markedly reduced pay compared to typically fluent peers, relatively few studies have explored contributions to psychosocial and emotional components of stuttering in the 5-10% of young children who stutter in the United States. This is problematic for two reasons. First, children as young as two years are acutely aware of and negatively impacted by their stuttering. Over time, these children experience stereotyping and stigmatization, and are significantly more likely to experience bullying and discrimination compared to typically fluent peers. Second, children are distinct from adults in that they tend to view their abilities through the perspective of their parents. Specifically, a parent’s perception of their child influences their child’s self-concept, self-esteem, and general attitudes.

Given that perspective taking skills develop within the same time as the onset of stuttering, young children who stutter may reflect their parent’s (positive or negative) thoughts and emotions related to their communication. I will present novel research exploring parent perception and perspective taking in children who do and do not stutter as it relates to a child’s communication attitude. I will discuss the role of social cognition in measuring a child’s self-reported communication attitude and the clinical significance of further investigating contributions to negative communication attitude. If negative communication attitude is more likely to be reported by children with perspective taking skills or whose parents perceive them to hold negative communication attitudes, this will provide more evidence for addressing parent reactions to stuttering in treatment. I will conclude this talk with a discussion of my preliminary findings and their foundation for my future program of research.

Katie Winters’ research is supported by the Arthur M. Blank Center for Stuttering Education and Research, the TSH Foundation, and the National Institute On Deafness and Other Communication Disorders of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number F31DC019859 (PI: Winters). This content is solely the responsibility of the author and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

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February 24, 2022
4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Event Category:


62 Goodnight Hall
1975 Willow Drive
Madison, WI 53706 United States