The researchers assessed differences in adaptability to rules in preschool-age children who do (CWS) and do not stutter (CWNS), during the training phase of a Stroop-like picture-naming task. Assessing the differences in adaptability using an experimental study helps narrow the gap in stuttering research for preschool-age children and eliminate parental bias seen in previous questionnaire-based studies. The children were asked to participate in a Stroop-like picture-naming task that tested their ability to adapt to new rules in a novel situation. A Mann-Whitney U Test was used to assess group differences in the 1) number of rule checks and 2) accuracy of practice trials, which were reflective of adaptability skills. CWS required significantly more rule checks and were significantly less accurate during their practice trials than CWNS. These results suggest differences in adaptability between CWS and CWNS. These findings help professionals understand how adaptability relates to the onset and development of stuttering in young children.
Key Words: Stuttering, Adaptability, Stoop-like task