Original Research

Attitudes of a group of South African speech-language pathologists towards stutterers and stuttering therapy

Belinda Baker, Eleanor Ross, Joan Girson
South African Journal of Communication Disorders | Vol 44, No 1 | a224 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajcd.v44i1.224 | © 2019 Belinda Baker, Eleanor Ross, Joan Girson | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 12 October 2016 | Published: 31 December 1997

About the author(s)

Belinda Baker, Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa
Eleanor Ross, Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa
Joan Girson, Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa

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Abstract

The present study aimed to examine the attitudes of a group of South African speech-language pathologists towards stuttering and stuttering therapy. Further aims were to investigate whether a stereotype of stutterers was found among these speech-language pathologists, and to determine whether there was any relationship between the attitudes held about stutterers, and the therapists' training and experience. A random probability sample of respondents was selected from the population of speech therapists registered with the Interim Medical and Dental Council of South Africa (I.M.D.C.S.A.). A self-administered mailed questionnaire was employed to realise the aims of the study. The main result of this investigation indicated that almost 50% of the sample of qualified clinicians surveyed, viewed stutterers as a group characterised by specific personality traits and psychological problems. This belief held true irrespective of the number of years of experience working in the field, the time of graduation, the frequency of treating stutterers, or the training emphasis. Implications of these results are considered with respect to student training, continuing education of qualified practitioners and future research.

Keywords

attitudes; speech-language pathologists; stutterers; stuttering therapy

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