Journal of Communication Disorders
Purpose: The purpose of this project was to investigate the possible relation between standardized measures of vocabulary/language, mother and father education, and a composite measure of socioeconomic status (SES) for children who do not stutter (CWNS) and children who stutter (CWS).
Methods: Participants were 138 CWNS and 159 CWS between the ages of 2;6 and 6;3 and their families. The Hollingshead Four Factor Index of Social Position (i.e., Family SES) was used to calculate SES based on a composite score consisting of weighted values for paternal and maternal education and occupation. Statistical regression analyses were conducted to investigate the relation between parental education and language and vocabulary scores for both the CWNS and CWS. Correlations were calculated between parent education, Family SES, and stuttering severity (e.g., SSI-3 score, % words stuttered).
Results: Results indicated that maternal education contributed the greatest amount of variance in vocabulary and language scores for the CWNS and for participants from both groups whose Family SES was in the lowest quartile of the distribution. However, paternal education generally contributed the greatest amount of variance in vocabulary and language scores for the CWS. Higher levels of maternal education were associated with more severe stuttering in the CWS.
Conclusion: Results are generally consistent with existing literature on normal language development that indicates maternal education is a robust predictor of the vocabulary and language skills of preschool children. Thus, both father and mothers' education may impact the association between vocabulary/language skills and childhood stuttering, leading investigators who empirically study this association to possibly re-assess their participant selection (e.g., a priori control of parental education) and/or data analyses (e.g., post hoc covariation of parental education).
Learning outcomes: The reader will be able to: (a) describe the influence of socioeconomic status on the development of vocabulary and language for children who do and do not stutter; (b) discuss the contribution of maternal education on vocabulary and language development; (c) describe possible reasons why paternal education contributes in unique ways to the vocabulary and language development of children who stutter as well as stuttering severity; and (d) explain possible reasons why socioeconomic status is an important variable for describing language related findings in young children.
Original Publication Citation
Richels, C. G., Johnson, K. N., Walden, T. A., & Conture, E. G. (2013). Socioeconomic status, parental education, vocabulary and language skills of children who stutter. Journal of Communication Disorders, 46(4), 361-374. doi:10.1016/j.jcomdis.2013.07.002
Richels, Corrin G.; Johnson, Kia N.; Walden, Tedra A.; and Conture, Edward G., "The Relation of Socioeconomic Status, Parental education, Vocabulary and Language Skills of Children Who Stutter" (2013). Communication Disorders & Special Education Faculty Publications. 26.