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Stuttering and Emotional Reactions

Stuttering is a speech disorder that is characterized by part-word repetitions, prolongations, and blocking. The problem impacts approximately 5% of preschool and school-age children and 1% of the adult population throughout the world. Depending on the severity of the stuttering, the speaker’s age and culture, and the speaker’s coping responses, the condition can result in a highly restricted lifestyle and a variety of emotional reactions. The primary emotion is one of anxiety, particularly in social situations where verbal communicative is expected or required. The often moderate to high levels of anxiety experienced by children, adolescents, and adults who stutter may generate greater stress and resulting challenges for the speaker than the overt behavioral characteristics of stuttering. This entry provides an overview of the emotional ...

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