Situational speaking anxiety in adults who stutter

Janine Diehl, Michael Robb, John G. Lewis, Tika Ormond

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Purpose: Adults who stutter (AWS) are reported to have increased levels of anxiety compared to adults who do not stutter (AWNS), particularly in social interactions. However, the level of perceived anxiety according to specific speaking situations has not been critically evaluated. The present study examined the relationship between a physiological measure of anxiety (i.e., Cortisol) and perceptual judgments of communication apprehension across different speaking situations. Method: Ten AWS and ten sex- and aged-matched AWNS provided salivary cortisol samples during four speaking situations across a one-week period. The speaking situations consisted of (1) speaking with a friend, (2) speaking with a single stranger, (3) speaking in front of a group of four strangers, and (4) speaking to a stranger on the telephone. Each participant also provided self-perception assessments of their perceived anxiety levels before and after each speaking situation. Results: Significant group differences were found in self-perceived anxiety levels in speaking situations, however no such differences were apparent for the cortisol measures. Conclusion: Overall results suggested a relationship between communication apprehension and various speaking situations among AWS, which is most evident in the self-perceived anxiety associated with speaking.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)100-110
Number of pages11
JournalSpeech, Language and Hearing
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 3 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Speech and Hearing


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