Document Type


Date of Degree

Spring 2012

Degree Name

MA (Master of Arts)

Degree In

Speech Pathology and Audiology

First Advisor

Patricia Zebrowski


Young children who stutter have shown the capability of developing an awareness of stuttering as early as age two (Ambrose & Yairi, 1994; Yairi & Ambrose, 2005; Boey et al., 2009; Ezrati-Vinacour, Platzky, & Yairi, 2001). The child's awareness of both his communication difficulty and the response of listeners to his speech has the potential to adversely affect his cognitive and social-emotional development, as well as his self-perception of overall competence. The purpose of this study was to examine self-perceived general competence and social acceptance in children who stutter (CWS) and children who do not stutter (CWNS), and to assess the extent to which temperament, speech disfluency, expressive and receptive language abilities, and home environment both co-vary and predict children's perception of their own competence. Participants included 16 CWS and 16 CWNS between the ages of 4;0 and 5;10. Results of the MANOVA revealed no significant between-group differences in perceived competence or social acceptance, language abilities, temperament, or home environment between the two groups; because stuttering severity and time since onset of stuttering were not calculated for CWNS, these two values were not included in the MANOVA. Results of the backwards linear regressions revealed that the best two-regressor model for predicting perceived general competence in all subjects included the temperament constructs of surgency and negative affectivity; in CWS only, surgency and expressive language together were the most predictive of perceived general competence. The best two-regressor model for predicting perceived social acceptance in all subjects included negative affectivity and receptive language; in CWS only, receptive language and stuttering severity together were most predictive of perceived social acceptance. However, none of these relationships reached significance. Taken together, results suggest that as a group, CWS present with similar temperamental profiles as CWNS, and that a child's speech and language skills are linked to his perception of peer acceptance, while a tendency for risk taking and a generally positive view of new situations may be more important for self-perception of overall competence in the world. Theoretical and clinical implications are discussed.


perceived competence, stuttering


vii, 69 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 62-69).


Copyright 2012 Naomi Hertsberg