Differences in the relation between temperament and vocabulary based on children's stuttering trajectories

J Commun Disord. 2019 Mar-Apr;78:57-68. doi: 10.1016/j.jcomdis.2019.01.004. Epub 2019 Jan 25.


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to assess the relation between temperament and vocabulary development for children who stutter and persist, children who stutter and recover and children who do not stutter.

Methods: Participants, aged 3;0-4;11 at the start of the study, were followed for two years. They were classified as persisting (n = 10), recovered (n = 26), and non-stuttering (n = 24) based on multiple assessments of stuttering spaced across study participation. Groups were balanced for age and gender ratios. At each visit, participants completed the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test, 4th edition, and the Expressive Vocabulary Test, 2nd edition; caregivers completed the Children's Behavior Questionnaire.

Results: For both persisting and recovered groups, higher negative emotionality was associated with lower receptive vocabulary. These associations were both significantly more negative than the non-stuttering group's association.

Conclusion: These findings suggest that receptive vocabulary development is differentially linked to temperament based on a child's stuttering status. As others have speculated (Conture & Walden, 2012), it appears as though there are salient associations between temperament, speech-language development, and childhood stuttering.

Keywords: Children; Chronicity; Longitudinal; Preschool; Stuttering; Temperament; Vocabulary.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Language Development*
  • Language Tests*
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Stuttering*
  • Temperament / physiology*