Phonological Priming In Young Children Who Stutter: Holistic Versus Incremental Processing
Purpose: To investigate the holistic versus incremental phonological encoding processes of young children who stutter (CWS; N = 26) and age- and gender-matched children who do not stutter (CWNS; N = 26) via a picture-naming auditory priming paradigm. Method: Children named pictures during 3 auditory priming conditions: neutral, holistic, and incremental. Speech reaction time (SRT) was measured from the onset of picture presentation to the onset of participant response. Results: CWNS shifted from being significantly faster in the holistic priming condition to being significantly faster in the incremental priming condition from 3 to 5 years of age. In contrast, the majority of 3- and 5-year-old CWS continued to exhibit faster SRT in the holistic than the incremental condition. Conclusion: CWS are delayed in making the developmental shift in phonological encoding from holistic to incremental processing, a delay that may contribute to their difficulties establishing fluent speech.