Department of Special Education and Communication Disorders


Document Type


Date of this Version



Published in Journal of Communication Disorders 64 (2016), pp 18–31.

DOI: 10.1016/j.jcomdis.2016.08.004


Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. Used by permission.


Purpose: The goals of this study were to determine whether young children who stutter (CWS) perceive their own competence and social acceptance differently than young children who do not stutter (CWNS), and to identify the predictors of perceived competence and social acceptance in young speakers.

Method: We administered the Pictorial Scale of Perceived Competence and Social Acceptance for Young Children (PSPCSA; Harter & Pike, 1984) to 13 CWS and 14 CWNS and examined group differences. We also collected information on the children’s genders, temperaments, stuttering frequencies, language abilities, and phonological skills to identify which of these factors predicted PSPCSA scores.

Results: CWS, as a group, did not differ from CWNS in their perceived general competence or social acceptance. Gender predicted scores of perceived general competence, and stuttering frequency predicted perceived social acceptance. Temperament, language abilities, and phonological skills were not significant predictors of perceived competence or social acceptance in our sample.

Conclusions: While CWS did not significantly differ from CWNS in terms of perceived competence and social acceptance, when both talker groups were considered together, girls self-reported greater perceived competence than boys. Further, lower stuttering frequency was associated with greater perceived social acceptance. These preliminary findings provide motivation for further empirical study of the psychosocial components of childhood stuttering.

Learning outcomes: Readers will be able to describe the constructs of perceived competence and social acceptance in young children, and whether early stuttering plays a role in the development of these constructs.