Date of Award

8-1992

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Major

Psychology

Major Professor

Howard R. Pollio

Committee Members

Michael Johnson, Ronald Hopson, Harold Luper

Abstract

Eight males and four females who stutter were interviewed regarding their everyday life experiences with stuttering. The interviews were analyzed using a qualitative, intuitive/inductive method. Results revealed four major experimental themes: The Burden of Stuttering, Living with Difference, Living with Constraints, and Negotiating Life. The Burden of Stuttering theme refers to the participant's experience of the effort involved in discoordinated speech, contending with interactional order between self and other, effectively communicating spoken messages, and their uncertainty about the occurrence of stuttering and listener reactions to it. Living with Difference refers to experiences of dissimilarity between self and fluent speaking others; this difference may be experienced in terms of stigma, prejudice, and alienation. Living with Constraints refers to limits imposed by stuttering and reactions of other people to it. Specific constraints are experienced in terms of limits on the quality and quantity of spoken expressions, as well as in terms of educational and job discrimination, and social relationships. Negotiating Life refers to the unique process of coming to terms with one's life as a person who stutters.

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