Current Research

As a first year MS-SLP student, I recently learned about the multifactorial approach to explain the etiology behind stuttering. There was not much evidence to support any theories and it seemed the topic was fairly unexplained. Is there any current research being done to discover the cause behind stuttering? Is this something PWS are interested in discovering? I know that many PWS attribute their experience to the individuals they are today. I am wondering if a “cure” were available, would they have chosen to live a life without a stutter?

I have learned so much from the stories and articles on this site! Thank you,


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Current Research — 2 Comments

  1. Sandra:
    As a matter of fact, researchers at Purdue, Anne Smith and Christine Weber, recently published an article, “How stuttering develops: The Multifactorial Dynamic Theory” that provides the current thought about the cause of stuttering. It is in the 2017 Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, pp. 1-23. To me, the article offers a rational, evidenced-based discussion on what causes stuttering, along with implications for assessment and management.

  2. There are several researchers who are involved in research which try to find the etiology behind stuttering. I think for example it is worthwhile to mention the research by Chang and colleagues who have found changes in white matter connectivity in adults as well as in children. Especially the manuscript in Brain in 2015(138,3: 694-711) is of interest: “White matter neuroanatomical differences in young children who stutter”. The findings might imply that neurobiological differences underpin stuttering rather than arising as a consequence of it. Connally, Ward, Howell and Watkins are researchers who have looked closer at the connectivity between structures serving motor speech control and motor speech timing, ref. Brain and Language, 131, 25: “Disrupted white matter in language and motor tracts in developmental stuttering”. I find this study very interesting too.

    I do hope that continues research will lead to a better understanding of stuttering. Even though we still have questions which are not yet answered, I do believe that we will come closer to some more answers.