Original Research

Primary school teachers’ opinions and attitudes towards stuttering in two South African urban education districts

Kristen Abrahams, Michal Harty, Kenneth O. St. Louis, Lehana Thabane, Harsha Kathard
South African Journal of Communication Disorders | Vol 63, No 1 | a157 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajcd.v63i1.157 | © 2016 Kristen Abrahams, Michal Harty, Kenneth O. St. Louis, Lehana Thabane, Harsha Kathard | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 15 March 2016 | Published: 27 July 2016

About the author(s)

Kristen Abrahams, Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, University of Cape Town, South Africa
Michal Harty, Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, University of Cape Town, South Africa
Kenneth O. St. Louis, Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, West Virginia University, United States
Lehana Thabane, Department of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, McMaster University, Canada
Harsha Kathard, Department of Health Sciences Education, University of Cape Town, South Africa


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Abstract

Background: As teachers form an important part of the intervention process with childrenwho stutter in primary school, the primary aim was to describe primary school teachers’attitudes in South Africa. The secondary aim was to compare teachers’ attitudes towardsstuttering in South Africa with those from a pooled group of respondents in the Public OpinionSurvey of Human Attributes–Stuttering (POSHA-S) database from different countries collectedin 2009–2014.

Method: A quantitative, cross-sectional survey research design was used. Primary schools intwo education districts in Western Cape, South Africa, were sampled. The POSHA-S, a selfadministeredquestionnaire, was completed by a cluster sample of 469 participants.

Results: Overall positive attitudes towards stuttering were found, specifically related to thepotential of people who stutter, although the result should be interpreted with caution as thesample was not homogenously positive. Teachers still had misconceptions about personalitystereotypes and the cause of stuttering. The attitudes of the South African sample were slightlymore positive compared with the samples in the current POSHA-S database.

Conclusion: When developing stuttering intervention strategies, there are a number of keyconsiderations to take into account. The study provides a basis for speech-language therapiststo think about intervention with teachers and which areas of stuttering to consider.


Keywords

Stuttering; teachers; South Africa; primary school

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