This study investigated the relationship between inhibitory control and stuttering in preschool-age children. Participants, (N=39) ages 3;1 – 5;9 (years;months), were assessed in two ways; measurement of behavioral responses to three experimental inhibitory control tasks (Bear/Dragon, Forbidden Toy, and Gift Delay) and parent responses to a self-control rating scale on their child’s behalf. Results were analyzed and findings are discussed in terms of differences between children who stutter (CWS) and children who do not stutter (CWNS). Analyses indicated that all inhibitory control measures, with exception of one latency variable, were significantly correlated with at least one other behavioral measure. However, CWS and CWNS showed no significant differences in inhibitory control measures. Age, regardless of talker group, was significantly correlated to five of the eight dependent variables designed to measure inhibitory control. The significant association between age and measures of inhibitory control suggest that age may be an important consideration for future sample populations. Plans for future research should note that during the preschool-age years, when inhibitory control is still in an early developmental phase, group differences may not be as evident due to high levels of variability in inhibitory control. Later in development, for example during the school-age years, differences in inhibitory control may be more evident between groups.
Dr. Hayley S Arnold
The primary goal of this study was to investigate the relationship between inhibitory control and stuttering in preschool-age children. Participants were 16 children who stutter and 23 children who do not stutter. They were assessed using behavioral responses to three experimental tasks as well as parent responses to a questionnaire. Results indicated that age was significantly correlated to five of the eight inhibitory control measures. However, no significant difference between talker groups was found. The significant association between age and measures of inhibitory control suggests that age may be important. During the preschool-age years, group differences may not be as evident due to high levels of variability. Later in development, differences in inhibitory control may be more evident between groups.