The onset of developmental stuttering typically occurs between 2 to 4 years of age, coinciding with a period of rapid development in speech, language, motor and cognitive domains. Previous studies have reported generally poorer performance and uneven, or "dissociated" development across speech and language domains in children who stutter (CWS) relative to children who do not stutter (CWNS) (. Anderson, Pellowski, & Conture, 2005). The aim of this study was to replicate and expand previous findings by examining whether CWS exhibit dissociated development across speech-language, cognitive, and motor domains that are also reflected in measures of neuroanatomical development. Participants were 66CWS (23 females) and 53CWNS (26 females) ranging from 3 to 10 years. Standardized speech, language, cognitive, and motor skills measures, and fractional anisotropy (FA) values derived from diffusion tensor imaging from speech relevant "dorsal auditory" left perisylvian areas (. Hickok & Poeppel, 2007) were analyzed using a correlation-based statistical procedure (. Coulter, Anderson, & Conture, 2009) that quantified dissociations across domains. Overall, CWS scored consistently lower on speech, language, cognitive and motor measures, and exhibited dissociated development involving these same measures and white matter neuroanatomical indices relative to CWNS. Boys who stutter exhibited a greater number of dissociations compared to girls who stutter. Results suggest a subgroup of CWS may have incongruent development across multiple domains, and the resolution of this imbalance may be a factor in recovery from stuttering.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The authors wish to thank all the children and parents who have participated in this study. In addition, we wish to thank Ashley Larva and the members of the Speech Neurophysiology Lab at Michigan State University for their assistance in scoring and transcribing the speech samples. This study was supported by Award Number #R01DC011277 (PI: Chang) from the National Institute on Deafness and other Communication Disorders (NIDCD).
© 2016 Elsevier Inc.
- Diffusion tensor imaging
- White matter