Relation between stuttering and anxiety disorders in italian children and adolescents who stutter

The relationship between anxiety and stuttering has been widely studied. Indeed, over the past 50 years this has resulted in compelling and controversial theories and hypotheses that tried to shed light on the nature of this relationship. Previous researches have shown an increase of negative emotional reactions, as anxiety, related to particular speech situations in people who stutter. Specifically, it was found that levels of trait anxiety of children and adolescents who stutter do not differ from that one of non stutter peers. However, children and adolescents who stutter display a significant increase of the state anxiety in speech situations, due to the fear of receiving a negative evaluation. Current study aimed at assessing
1. possible difference in negative emotional reaction to speech situations
and general anxiety between children and adolescents who stutter and
non-stuttering peers;
2. possible associations between emotional reactions in speech situations
and general anxiety in both groups.
In order to evaluate the general level of anxiety and its component the Italian version of the Revised Children's Manifest Anxiety Scale, Second Edition, (RCMAS-2) and the Speech Situation Checklist-Emotional Reaction (SSC-ER) were administered to 65 children and adolescents who stutter and 65 non stuttering peers aged from 9 to 17.
A series of univariate ANOVAs, with Status, Age and Gender as independent variables and SSC-ER scores and RCMAS-2 total and subscales scores as dependent variables, were performed. The stuttering group was significantly higher than non stuttering group on the subscales Defensiveness and Social Anxiety scores of RCMAS-2, in addition, the interaction between Status and Age resulted significant. A series of separate correlations between SSC-ER scores and RCMAS-2 showed that in both groups levels of anxiety were associated to levels of emotional reactions to speech domain.
Children and adolescent who stutter did not result more anxious than fluent peers, however, presented higher levels of emotional reaction in social communication that might increase over time. They also referred higher levels of anxiety in social situations than non-stuttering peers although these levels are not clinically significant.

Tipo Pubblicazione: 
Contributo in atti di convegno
Author or Creator: 
Bernardini Simona
Cocco Luisella
Zmarich Claudio
Di Pietro Mario
Natarelli Giulia
Ghisi Manuela
Edizioni Erikson, Trento, ITA
2nd International Conference On Stuttering, pp. 111–117, Roma (I), 15-17/10/2015
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ISTC Author: 
Ritratto di Claudio Zmarich
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