Stuttering and social anxiety

J Fluency Disord. Winter 2002;27(4):319-30; quiz 330-1. doi: 10.1016/s0094-730x(02)00160-2.


The aim of the present study was to investigate the presence of social anxiety in adults who stutter. This was done by administering the Inventory of Interpersonal Situations (IIS) (Van Dam-Baggen & Kraaimaat, 1999), a social anxiety inventory, to a group of 89 people who stuttered and 131 people who did not stutter. Two components of social anxiety were measured by the ISS, the extent to which emotional tension or discomfort is perceived in social situations and the frequency with which social responses are executed. The people who stuttered displayed significantly higher levels of emotional tension or discomfort in social situations. They also reported a significantly lower frequency of social responses compared to their nonstuttering peers. In addition, about 50% of the scores of the people who stuttered fell within the range of a group of highly socially anxious psychiatric patients. The results of the study suggest that the measurement of social anxiety is an important element in the assessment of adults who stutter.

Educational objectives: The reader will learn about and be able to describe (1) the IIS as an assessment procedure for evaluating social anxiety, (2) the level of discomfort expressed by adult stutterers in social situations, and (3) the effect of social anxiety on stutterers' responsiveness in social situations.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Anxiety Disorders / complications*
  • Education, Continuing
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations*
  • Middle Aged
  • Personality Inventory
  • Speech-Language Pathology / education
  • Stuttering / complications*
  • Stuttering / psychology*
  • United States