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The effect of speech sound disorder on attention in developmental stuttering

Worsham, Sara J (2024) The effect of speech sound disorder on attention in developmental stuttering. Undergraduate Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Stuttering is a communication disorder in which individuals have disruptions in the forward flow of speech. Speech sound disorders are communication disorders in which individuals have difficulty with articulation and phonology. Both disorders have been associated with less effective or efficient attentional processes; however, the relationship between attention, stuttering, and speech sound disorders is unclear. The current study aimed to investigate selective auditory attention in children who stutter (CWS) with and without speech sound disorders (SSD) using event-related brain potentials (ERPs). Seventy-seven children ages 4-8 years participated, including children who do not stutter (CWNS), children who do not stutter with SSD (CWNS-SSD), children who stutter (CWS), and children who stutter with SSD (CWS-SSD). Children completed a selective auditory attention paradigm where they were asked to attend to one narrative and ignore (unattended) another. ERPs were recorded to linguistic and nonlinguistic probes overlaid on the attended and unattended stories and ERP mean amplitudes elicited by probes in the attended and unattended conditions were compared. No significant differences were found in neural processes for attention between CWS and CWNS or between CWS and CWS-SSD. However, for the linguistic probe, children without SSD exhibited larger anterior neural responses while children with SSD exhibited larger central responses, suggesting differing neural distributions for selective auditory attention based on the presence of SSD. Results suggest that while the presence of stuttering did not impact selective auditory attention, the presence of SSD may contribute to differential patterns of neural engagement during an auditory selective attention paradigm, highlighting the complexity of attentional processes in childhood SSD.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Worsham, Sara Jsjworsham87@gmail.comsjw1000009-0004-6976-0347
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Thesis AdvisorHampton Wray,
Committee MemberBohland,
Committee MemberFabiano,
Committee MemberGoffman,
Date: 23 April 2024
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 5 April 2024
Approval Date: 23 April 2024
Submission Date: 18 April 2024
Access Restriction: 1 year -- Restrict access to University of Pittsburgh for a period of 1 year.
Number of Pages: 65
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: David C. Frederick Honors College
School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences > Communication Science and Disorders
Degree: BPhil - Bachelor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Undergraduate Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Stuttering, fluency, speech sound disorder, articulation disorder, phonological disorder, attention, selective attention, selective auditory attention, EEG, ERPs, electroencephalography, event-related potentials
Date Deposited: 23 Apr 2024 14:32
Last Modified: 23 Apr 2024 14:32


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