The History of Stuttering by 7 Years of Age: Follow-Up of a Prospective Community Cohort
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Purpose: For a community cohort of children confirmed to have stuttered by the age of 4 years, we report (a) the recovery rate from stuttering, (b) predictors of recovery, and (c) comorbidities at the age of 7 years. Method: This study was nested in the Early Language in Victoria Study. Predictors of stuttering recovery included child, family, and environmental measures and first-degree relative history of stuttering. Comorbidities examined at 7 years included temperament, language, nonverbal cognition, and health-related quality of life. Results: The recovery rate by the age of 7 years was 65%. Girls with stronger communication skills at the age of 2 years had higher odds of recovery (adjusted OR = 7.1, 95% CI [1.3, 37.9], p = .02), but similar effects were not evident for boys (adjusted OR = 0.5, 95% CI [0.3, 1.1], p = .10). At the age of 7 years, children who had recovered from stuttering were more likely to have stronger language skills than children whose stuttering persisted (p = .05). No evident differences were identified on other outcomes including nonverbal cognition, temperament, and parent-reported quality of life. Conclusion: Overall, findings suggested that there may be associations between language ability and recovery from stuttering. Subsequent research is needed to explore the directionality of this relationship.
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research
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