First Advisor

Megann McGill

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Speech and Hearing Sciences and University Honors


Speech and Hearing Sciences




Stuttering, Multilingual persons -- Language, Speech disorders, Bilingualism




As the number of bilinguals and multilinguals continues to grow globally, researchers and clinicians in the field of speech-language pathology are faced with a unique challenge and opportunity - the need to understand the experiences of bilingual and multilingual clients who stutter. Yet, research and clinical guidelines about assessment and treatment of bilinguals who stutter has been scarce. There is a critical need for research to explore the types of stuttering produced by bilinguals in each of their languages. This research study has two aims: (1) to compare and contrast stuttering characteristics in two languages (English and Spanish) and across bilingual participants and (2) to investigate the effect of language dominance and proficiency on stuttering patterns in each language and across individuals. Participants were two adults who stutter who were both bilingual Spanish-English speakers enrolled in an ongoing clinical research program at PSU. Data were collected from speech samples that were recorded during therapy sessions, and disfluency counts, iterations of stuttering, and physical concomitants were coded. Results demonstrated no statistically significant differences in the overall frequency and disfluency types across languages, the iterations of stuttering across languages, or the physical concomitants across languages. The results of this study provide evidence for correlation between concurrent treatment in both languages and similar stuttering patterns in both languages. They also support the utilization of one language in the evaluation of balanced bilingual adults who stutter.


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