Perceptions of self-disclosing stuttering: the impact of self-disclosure on school-age listeners who stutter
Previous research has indicated that the use of self-disclosure statements may be beneficial in improving listener’s perceptions of a speaker who stutters. While some research to this point is available concerning the perceptions of adults, this theory has not been studied in school-age populations. In addition, information about the perceptions of listeners who are also stutterers is unexplored. This study seeks to address these voids in the literature and also to explore the impact of gender bias in the context of self-disclosure. This study seeks to bolster the evidence-based practice for the technique of self-disclosure and to better understand the perceptions of school-age listeners. Such information could improve treatment delivery and outcomes as part of a comprehensive intervention program for individuals who stutter. Research objectives were explored by exposing participants to two of four possible videos of a speaker who stutters (a male who self-discloses, male who does not self-disclose, female who self-discloses, and a female who does not self-disclosure). Directly after viewing the videos the participant completed a survey probing for perceptions of the speaker, information about their experience with and knowledge of stuttering, and allowing for additional comments to be reported. Results indicated a preference for the speaker who self-disclosed. However, some differences were noted between then listener groups (stutterers versus. non-stutterers). The participants who stuttered tended to be less impacted by the presence or absence of a self-disclosure; they more often reported perceiving “no difference” between the speakers across a variety of traits in comparison to the participants who do not stutter. These results indicate that individuals who stutter and individuals who do not stutter may perceive the use of self-disclose differently. Results, in regards to gender bias, were inconclusive. In summary, results from the current study add to the body of research supporting the use of self-disclosure statements and suggest that individuals who stutter may perceive their use differently than individuals who do not stutter.