A control/experimental trial of an operant treatment for early stuttering

M. Onslow, C. Andrews, M. Lincoln

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118 Citations (Scopus)


A preliminary study (Onslow, Costa, and Rue, 1990) suggested that a parent-conducted program of verbal response-contingent stimulation would be an effective treatment for stuttering children younger than 5 years. The present study was designed to expand those preliminary findings by using a larger group of children and by comparing them to a control group of children, Twelve children in the experimental group achieved median percent syllables stuttered (%SS) scores below 1.0 for a 12-month posttreatment period. The children's treatments were completed in a median of 10.5 1-hour clinic sessions and a median of 84.5 days from the start of treatment. The majority of parents of the control children withdrew from the study and elected to have treatment begin for their child. These results suggest that the program may be a cost-effective method for managing a clinical caseload of stuttering children younger than 5 years. It is suggested that controlled clinical trials cannot be used validly or ethically to determine the number of cases of early stuttering who recover without formal intervention.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1244-1259
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Speech and Hearing Research
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 1994
Externally publishedYes


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