Document Type


Date of Degree

Spring 2009

Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Degree In

Psychological and Quantitative Foundations

First Advisor

Cochran, Sam V

Second Advisor

Zebrowski, Patricia M

First Committee Member

Altmaier, Elizabeth M

Second Committee Member

Ansley, Timothy

Third Committee Member

Liu, William M


Stuttering is a developmental disorder which may adversely affect the individual on many functional and emotional levels. Common sequelae of speech disfluency include powerful emotions such as anxiety, shame, and anger, as well as speech-avoidant behaviors. For males, the influence of gender role socialization may present an additional burden. From a traditional perspective of masculinity, emotional expression and exposing one's flaws are strongly discouraged in most forms and contexts and may be seen as signs of weakness. While expression of emotions is a common developmental milestone for many who stutter, it is unclear what impact awareness, repression, and avoidance of emotions have on the well-being of people who stutter.

This study explored the effects of disruptions in emotional expression and the influence of masculinity on the impact of disfluency for adult males who stutter (n=65). It was hypothesized that masculine-type emotional restriction would mediate the relationship between disruptions in emotional expression and the perceived impact of stuttering. Regression analysis revealed disruptions in emotional expression accounted for 25% of the variance in self-reported perceptions of stuttering, and self-regulation of emotion was negatively correlated with perceived impact of stuttering. Contrary to hypothesis, masculine-type emotional restriction was not significantly correlated with perceived impact of stuttering and thus invalidated impetus for mediation analysis. Implications and suggestions for further exploration are discussed.


alexithymia, disfluency, emotional expression, males, masculinity, stuttering


vi, 92 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 107-109).


Copyright 2009 James Thomas Haley