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ERIC Number: EJ1155831
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Sep
Pages: 23
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1092-4388
How Stuttering Develops: The Multifactorial Dynamic Pathways Theory
Smith, Anne; Weber, Christine
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, v60 n9 p2483-2505 Sep 2017
Purpose: We advanced a multifactorial, dynamic account of the complex, nonlinear interactions of motor, linguistic, and emotional factors contributing to the development of stuttering. Our purpose here is to update our account as the multifactorial dynamic pathways theory. Method: We review evidence related to how stuttering develops, including genetic/epigenetic factors; motor, linguistic, and emotional features; and advances in neuroimaging studies. We update evidence for our earlier claim: Although stuttering ultimately reflects impairment in speech sensorimotor processes, its course over the life span is strongly conditioned by linguistic and emotional factors. Results: Our current account places primary emphasis on the dynamic developmental context in which stuttering emerges and follows its course during the preschool years. Rapid changes in many neurobehavioral systems are ongoing, and critical interactions among these systems likely play a major role in determining persistence of or recovery from stuttering. Conclusion: Stuttering, or childhood onset fluency disorder ("Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders," 5th edition; American Psychiatric Association [APA], 2013), is a neurodevelopmental disorder that begins when neural networks supporting speech, language, and emotional functions are rapidly developing. The multifactorial dynamic pathways theory motivates experimental and clinical work to determine the specific factors that contribute to each child's pathway to the diagnosis of stuttering and those most likely to promote recovery.
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. 2200 Research Blvd #250, Rockville, MD 20850. Tel: 301-296-5700; Fax: 301-296-8580; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: R01DC00559