Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



College of Education and Human Services


Communication Sciences and Disorders

Committee Chair

Kenneth O St Louis

Committee Co-Chair

Mary Ellen Koay

Committee Member

Michelle W Moore

Committee Member

Dennis M Ruscello

Committee Member

Christine J Schimmel


Background: Negative or uninformed stuttering attitudes proliferate among the general public, and burgeoning research has shown that such attitudes might emerge as early as the preschool years. Despite decades of research on the topic, much remains unknown about the origin of stuttering attitudes and the factors that bear on their development. Moreover, conclusive recommendations to improve attitudes toward stuttering have yet to be advanced.;Purpose: This study sought (a) to objectively measure stuttering attitudes among preschool children, (b) to examine predictive factors that might account for those attitudes, and (c) to determine the effect of a new educational program on improving preschoolers' stuttering attitudes. It was hypothesized that children would hold uninformed or negative attitudes about stuttering, which would be amenable to improvement following the educational program. Children's experience with stuttering and their social cognitive skills were expected to have a positive effect on their stuttering attitudes. Other factors, such as parent attitudes and demographic variables, were expected to have little to no effect.;Method: The stuttering attitudes of 55 preschoolers were measured using the Public Opinion Survey of Human Attributes--Stuttering/Child (POSHA--S/Child). Data were interpreted relative to children's demographic variables, exposure to stuttering, personal factors, and parent stuttering attitudes (obtained from 38 parent respondents). Thirty-seven children learned about stuttering and sensitive peer interactions by participating in the Attitude Change and Tolerance (InterACT) program. Their POSHA--S/Child ratings were obtained following the program, and compared to a control group.;Results: Pre-post comparisons showed statistically significant improvements in stuttering beliefs and self reactions for children in the experimental group, and no significant attitude change for control participants. Prior exposure to stuttering was associated with more positive baseline attitudes, but other variables had marginal-to-negligible predictive power.