A comparison of manifest anxiety levels in mentally retarded stutterers and nonstutterers as measured by the Children's Manifest Anxiety Scale




Strauss, Paul Karel, 1930-

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"Twenty institutionalized mentally retarded stutterers and twenty institutionalized matched nonstuttering retardates, as closely as possible in terms of sex, measured IQ, and chronological age, were administered the Childrens Manifest Anxiety Scale. A statistical analysis of the results indicates that (a) the stutterers, as a group, scored significantly higher, anxiety-wise, than their nonstuttering counterparts, and (b) the aforementioned intervening variables had no statistically significant affect on anxiety scores for either group. One interesting factor which came to light relatively early in the study was the surprising scarcity of what the examiner considered stutterers among the retarded groups concerned since, according to Schlanger (25), the retarded population is supposed to contain a high incidence of stutterers. In actuality, the incidence of stuttering among the retarded population which was encountered in this study was not far different from the incidence reported for a nonretarded population. A suspected reason for the greater incidence of stuttering indicated by Schlanger is the fact that, in classifying a subject as a stutterer or nonstutterer, he made use of a dichotomous classification system involving the concept of "primary" and "secondary" stuttering, according to which, a "primary" stutterer would be a person who is unaware of, and unconcerned about, his nonfluencies. As indicated by Robinson (23, p. 44), there is considerable controversy concerning the validity of this concept, since many speech pathologists feel that an element of speaker-awareness tinged by anxiety is necessary for an individual to be accurately labelled a stutterer. This is one of the criteria considered in this study in determining whether or not a subject belonged in the experimental group.