Covert Stuttering: Investigation of the Paradigm Shift From Covertly Stuttering to Overtly Stuttering
Purpose Covert stuttering is a type of stuttering experience that occurs when a person who stutters conceals his or her stutter from others, attempting to be perceived as a nonstuttering individual. A person who covertly stutters experiences the cognitive and emotional elements of stuttering with minimum overt behavioral symptoms. Individuals who covertly stutter are able to provide insight into their experiences in attempting to be perceived as nonstuttering individuals. Covert stuttering is a topic that continues to be in need of a formal definition. The current investigation is utilizing thematic analysis to provide a detail-rich investigation of the paradigm shift from covertly stuttering to overtly stuttering.
Method The current investigation is a qualitative analysis of individuals' transition process from covertly stuttering to overtly stuttering. Real-time video interviews were conducted with the use of open-ended phenomenological interview questions. Interviews were transcribed, and thematic analysis of interview transcripts was conducted to investigate the covertly to overtly stuttering process for participants.
Results The findings provide insight into a paradigm shift that occurs when individuals who covertly stutter begin to outwardly identify themselves and allow for overt stuttering. The primary theme was a paradigm shift in the 6 participants' mindset regarding stuttering; additional details are provided in the subthemes: attending speech therapy, meeting other people who stutter, and a psychological low point. The details of the covert-to-overt stuttering conversion are documented with the use of direct quotations.
Conclusion The evidence suggests the various intricacies of the experiences of persons who are covert. Clinical implications of these findings for assessing and treating individuals who covertly stutter are discussed.
Douglass, J. E., Schwab, M., & Alvarado, J. (2018). Covert stuttering: Investigation of the paradigm shift from covertly stuttering to overtly stuttering. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 27(3S), 1235-1243. Doi:10.1044/2018_AJSLP-ODC11-17-0190
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association