Fluency Development and Temperament in Fluent Children and Children Who Stutter

Peter Howell1, Stephen Davis1, Hina Patel1, Paul Cuniffe1, Deborah Downing-Wilson1, James Au-Yeung1 and Roberta Williams2
1University College London, 26 Bedford Way, London WC1H 0AP
2City University, Northampton Square, London EC1V OHB

SUMMARY

Some interim results of a longitudinal study into indicators of fluency development are reported. A variety of language tests were performed. OCDI (Oxford Communication Development Inventory) scores were obtained at about 18 months and errors in naming pictures were obtained on a group of the children around this age. MLU (mean length of utterance) and a receptive measure of syntax (ROST - Reception of Syntax Test) were obtained when the children were around three years. CD1 correlated negatively with picture naming errors and this might reflect lexical development. MLU correlated with ROST score and this might reflect syntactic development. Measures of temperament obtained at 3 years did not correlate markedly with any language measure. It is concluded that there are two language factors that affect fluency development (lexical and syntactic), neither of which is related to temperament. In older fluent children and children who stutter temperament was found to differentiate the groups (CD1, MLU and picture naming are not appropriate tests for these older children). It is concluded that temperament may differentiate children who stutter from fluent speakers independent of their language performance.
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