Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology

, Volume 40, Issue 4, pp 633–644 | Cite as

Dual Diathesis-Stressor Model of Emotional and Linguistic Contributions to Developmental Stuttering

  • Tedra A. WaldenEmail author
  • Carl B. Frankel
  • Anthony P. Buhr
  • Kia N. Johnson
  • Edward G. Conture
  • Jan M. Karrass


This study assessed emotional and speech-language contributions to childhood stuttering. A dual diathesis-stressor framework guided this study, in which both linguistic requirements and skills, and emotion and its regulation, are hypothesized to contribute to stuttering. The language diathesis consists of expressive and receptive language skills. The emotion diathesis consists of proclivities to emotional reactivity and regulation of emotion, and the emotion stressor consists of experimentally manipulated emotional inductions prior to narrative speaking tasks. Preschool-age children who do and do not stutter were exposed to three emotion-producing overheard conversations—neutral, positive, and angry. Emotion and emotion-regulatory behaviors were coded while participants listened to each conversation and while telling a story after each overheard conversation. Instances of stuttering during each story were counted. Although there was no main effect of conversation type, results indicated that stuttering in preschool-age children is influenced by emotion and language diatheses, as well as coping strategies and situational emotional stressors. Findings support the dual diathesis-stressor model of stuttering.


Developmental stuttering Emotion Emotion regulation Disfluency 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tedra A. Walden
    • 1
    Email author
  • Carl B. Frankel
    • 1
  • Anthony P. Buhr
    • 2
    • 3
  • Kia N. Johnson
    • 2
    • 4
  • Edward G. Conture
    • 2
  • Jan M. Karrass
    • 1
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of Psychology and Human DevelopmentVanderbilt UniversityNashvilleUSA
  2. 2.Department of Hearing and Speech SciencesVanderbilt UniversityNashvilleUSA
  3. 3.Department of Communication DisordersUniversity of AlabamaTuscaloosaUSA
  4. 4.Department of Communication Sciences & DisordersJames Madison UniversityHarrisonburgUSA
  5. 5.Center for Patient & Professional AdvocacyVanderbilt UniversityNashvilleUSA

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