Voluntary stuttering and the covert stutterer
Voluntary Stuttering and the Covert Stutterer
Erin Jo Stergiou, M.A. The University of Texas at Austin, 2014
Supervisor: Courtney T. Byrd
The purpose of the present study was to investigate the use of voluntary stuttering among individuals who self-identify as covert stutterers. Specifically, this study explored the perceived thoughts and feelings of covert stutterers regarding the impact of this strategy on their speech and on their lives overall. Further, the present study touches on the seemingly paradoxical relationship of initial discomfort but greater benefit that covert stutterers may perceive with the use of voluntary stuttering. Data for this research was compiled from an on-line survey distributed to members of the National Stuttering Association listserv and clients of the University of Texas Speech and Hearing Center. Results from this study suggest that covert stutterers presented with less aversion towards voluntary stuttering than had been predicted. Furthermore, present data points to the general lack of use by many participants as one of the potential reasons for their expressed neutrality regarding this tool. The results from this study, however, should be considered in light of the large, but potentially homogenous pool of participants reached via survey distribution methods.