Biopsychosocial approach for the assessment and treatment of children and adolescents who stutter

Michelle Byrnes

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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[Truncated abstract] Stuttering in childhood and adolescence can prove a difficult and debilitating communication disorder, potentially adversely affecting many aspects of an individual's life. Several researchers and clinicians have argued for a broader conceptualisation of stuttering, which aims to delineate not only the surface behaviours present in a child or adolescent's speech, but also the psychosocial impact stuttering has on their life. Chapter 1 addressed the impact of the stuttering disorder on anxiety and inherent psychosocial variables. A review of the research specific to the relationship between stuttering and anxiety in adults, children and adolescents was provided. The conclusion was made that a fuller understanding is needed regarding this relationship between stuttering and anxiety for children and adolescents who stutter. In addition, the impact of the stuttering disorder on various psychosocial variables such as behavioural and social difficulties, self-awareness of stuttering, reactions to stuttering, communication difficulties in daily situations, and quality of life was also explored. Further review of the literature, culminated in the identification and use of a biopsychosocial therapeutic framework developed by Yaruss and Quesal (2004; 2006) resulting in a more extensive and complete evaluation of the impact stuttering has on children and adolescents. Such an in-depth framework has not previously been incorporated into clinical research. Accordingly, the model provides one of the central tenets of this thesis. Such biopsychosocial theoretical support for the links between anxiety, psychosocial variables and stuttering severity was then presented in the context of current treatment programs. ... Chapter 6 detailed the effectiveness of the unique Fluency & Confidence and Investing in Parents group treatment program for children (n = 39) and adolescents (n = 21) who stuttered which was conducted alongside the parent (n = 60) support gro
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Publication statusUnpublished - 2010


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