A Dutch version of the Communication Attitude Test (Brutten, 1985) was used to assess the speech-associated attitudes of 70 stuttering and 271 nonstuttering Belgian children of elementary and middle school age. The results showed that the stuttering children evidenced significantly more negative attitudes toward speech than did their nonstuttering peers. This difference was present from age 7, the youngest age group studied, on up. Moreover, a significant group x age interaction revealed that the speech-related attitudes of the stuttering children became more negative with increasing age. In contrast, those of the nonstuttering children became less negative after age 9. These findings suggest that, in the course of fluency therapy for youngsters who stutter, negative attitudes toward speech should be addressed. This is especially true if, as with adults who stutter, negative attitudes are predictive of therapeutic failure.
KEY WORDS: speech attitudes, stuttering children, Communication Attitude Test
Submitted on October 27, 1989
Accepted on May 9, 1990