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Predictive factors for persistence and recovery of stuttering in children: A systematic review

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posted on 16.09.2020 by Nirmal Sugathan, Santosh Maruthy

The purpose of this study was to systematically review the available literature on various factors that can predict the persistence and recovery of stuttering in children.

An electronic search yielded a total of 35 studies, which considered 44 variables that can be potential factors for predicting persistence and recovery.

Among 44 factors studied, only four factors- phonological abilities, articulatory rate, change in the pattern of disfluencies, and trend in stuttering severity over one-year post-onset were identified to be replicated predictors of recovery of the stuttering. Several factors, such as differences in the second formant transition between fluent and disfluent speech, articulatory rate measured in phones/sec, etc., were observed to predict the future course of stuttering. However, these factors lack replicated evidence as predictors.

There is clear support only for limited factors as reliable predictors. Also, it is observed to be too early to conclude on several replicated factors due to differences in the age group of participants, participant sample size, and the differences in tools used in research that lead to mixed findings as a predictive factor. Hence there is a need for systematic and replicated testing of the factors identified before initiating their use for clinical purposes.


This study forms part of the first author’s doctoral research program for which he receives a financial scholarship from All India Institute of Speech & Hearing. Researchers did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.