Speech-Language Pathology/Stuttering/Physiology and Personality of Stutterers
Many studies have found that stutterers have normal physiological characteristics, such as heart rate and blood pressure.
“Whatever the source of stuttering is, it is not amenable to the treatments I have developed. I therefore refuse to deal with it further.” —Sigmund Freud
Many studies have tried to tie stuttering to a psychological or personality problem. The only psychological trait common to stutterers is fear and anxiety around speaking tasks, such as ordering in a restaurant.
Parental Attitudes and Behaviors
Many studies have tried to tie stuttering to parental attitudes and behaviors. The only trend is that poor, uneducated, dysfunctional families are more likely to have children who stutter. Likely the only parental behavior that contributes to childhood stuttering is not taking children to see a speech-language pathologist for therapy.
College students who stutter are more intelligent than college students who don't stutter. However, any person with a disability has to be especially intelligent and motivated to attempt college work. This doesn’t mean that stutterers in general are more intelligent.
Stuttering among mentally-retarded individuals appears to be far higher than the general population. In Down Syndrome, prevalences from 21% to 45% have been reported. This is likely because mentally-retarded children and adults are more likely to fail at therapy—stuttering therapies require intelligence and mental effort.
Many studies have examined stutterers' language skills. Whether children who stutter started talking later has not been established. School-age stutterers have normal language skills, as measured by standard tests. However, advanced tests such as understanding words played backwards suggest that stutterers may have an auditory processing disorder.
- A Handbook on Stuttering, by Oliver Bloodstein (1995, ISBN 1565933958)