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Title:Examining fluency practices: an interactional study of stuttering
Author(s):Choo, Ai
Director of Research:Hengst, Julie A.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Hengst, Julie A.
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Ambrose, Nicoline G.; Johnson, Cynthia J.; Prior, Paul A.; Duff, Melissa C.
Department / Program:Speech & Hearing Science
Discipline:Speech & Hearing Science
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Functional communication system
Situated theories of communication
Psychological, behavioral and biological approaches
Abstract:The current study integrates situated theories of communication and communication disorders approaches to examine the impact of stuttering on the functional communication system managing stuttering. Adults who self-identified as persons who stutter and their familiar communication partners were recruited for this study. Following an ethnographic approach to data collection, participants were videotaped during an interactive barrier game adapted from Hengst (2001, 2003), Hengst, Duff and Dettmer (2010), and Clark (1992), and interviewed after the barrier game to discuss their goals, actions and interactions during the game. The data obtained from each conversation pair (either an adult who stutters and their familiar communication partner, or a normally fluent adult and their familiar communication partner) during the barrier game and interview sessions consisted of: (1) video recordings of the barrier game (24 trials across four sessions), (2) on-line data kept during the barrier sessions including card placement accuracy, and participant responses during interviews, and (3) video recordings of interview sessions (one session for each participant). The barrier game and interview sessions from five adults who stutter (AWS) and five normally fluent adults with a familiar communication partner of the own choosing were coded and transcribed combining methods used in situated theories of communication and communication disorders to highlight patterns of collaboration and disfluencies. Data analysis was designed to assess group- and (participant pair) activity- based performance. Group based analysis consisted of collaborative effort (consisting of accuracy of card placements, time needed to complete trials, number of interactional turns used, number of words exchanged, number of gestures used, number of card placement sequences per trial), and patterns of disfluencies. The activity based analysis looked at the development and use of card labels to examine how initiating referencing expressions stabilize and simplify across trials. Overall, the number of disfluencies was higher in adults who stutter than normally fluent adults. The number of disfluencies was also higher in the first trials of the first session than subsequent sessions and trials. However, the proportion of other disfluencies was higher than stuttering-like disfluencies for adults who stutter. Similarly, normally fluent adults also had a higher proportion of other disfluencies compared to stuttering-like disfluencies. There were no group differences in collaborative effort and learning. Also, fluency breakdowns were not observed to negatively impact the production and use of target card labels. The AWS pairs were observed to establish, stabilize and simplify initiating referencing expressions in a similar manner to pairs not managing stuttering. Findings from this research investigation suggest that the functional communication system managing stuttering may be strategically managing speech disruptions and successfully accommodating deviations. These findings may have implications on how we study and interpret the disorder. Essentially, the results from this study point to the potential of this integrated approach, combining the situated theories of communication and communication disorders approaches to investigate stuttering, that shifts the focus away from individual productions and isolated moments of fluency breakdowns to the functional communication system, to examine and interpret how stuttering may impact communication in real world within a research setting.
Issue Date:2013-08-22
Rights Information:Copyright 2013 Ai Choo
Date Available in IDEALS:2013-08-22
Date Deposited:2013-08

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