Stuttering typically occurs during the pre-school years. Despite this, there is limited
understanding about the profile of children who experience early stuttering. Large
prospective studies have identified associated risk factors for onset; however, no
studies have been designed specifically to comprehensively explore the profile of
Moreover, at present there are no known predictors of treatment outcome. There is
evidence to suggest that higher stuttering severity at pre-treatment and longer onsetto-
treatment interval predict unfavourable treatment outcome. However, those
findings have since been contradicted, and only a small percentage of variance has
been explained by regression models.
The present thesis aimed to contribute to the knowledge base by conducting two
studies using a large clinical cohort. Study 1 aimed to develop a profile of early
childhood stuttering by conducting descriptive analyses of predictor variables across
multiple domains. Study 2 dealt with regression models using those variables as
predictors of short-and medium-term treatment outcome.
The present thesis did not reveal anything notable about the demography, speech and
language, and psychological function of clinically presenting pre-school children with
early stuttering. However, preliminary findings on psychological measures revealed
the need to comprehensively explore the psychological function of parents of preschoolers
who begin to stutter.
Regression models revealed that pre-treatment language skills and temperament
characteristics predicted short- and medium-term treatment outcome, respectively.
However, the models only explained a small percentage of the variance.
This thesis concludes that there is nothing notable about the profile of children who
present to clinic for stuttering treatment. Additionally, while there are predictors of
treatment outcome that are of theoretical interest, further research is needed to
understand their clinical relevance.