A Study of the Numerous Causes, Chiefly Psychological, of Stammering in School Children

Dickinson, Elsie B (1939) A Study of the Numerous Causes, Chiefly Psychological, of Stammering in School Children. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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During the autumn of 1936 a survey was made of all the children in the elementary schools in the County Borough of Blackpool who were suffering from speech defects. The primary object of the survey was to find out what need, if any, existed for provision of special classes for stammering and other speech defects within the Borough.An intensive study of the stammering children was afterwards carried out and this thesis is the result of that study. There was an average attendance of 9985 children in the schools at that time and out of this number of children, 173 or 1.73% were found to be suffering from definite speech defects as follows: Difficulty with certain letters and/or baby talk, 98; Nasal speech (cleft palate, tonsils and adenoids etc). 13; Stammer 62. In Appendix D. a summary of the study made of the speech defects other than stammer is given in order to present a complete picture of the speech abnormalities in a borough of this size. No child was considered for the purposes of the survey until he had been at school for at least six months so that he might have time to adjust to the school environment. Head Teachers were asked to supply complete lists of all children in their school who were thought to be suffering from a speech defect. These children were subsequently examined by the writer who is the Assistant School Medical Officer for the Borough. The initial examinations were made in the schools so that each case might be discussed with the teacher as well as with the parent, and recommendations about the attitude and treatment during school hours could be made personally to the teachers concerned. The children were then listed for subsequent supervision at the school clinic. In a few cases where a parent was unable to attend, or where information given seemed unreliable, the homes were Visited to clear up doubtful points about history and environment. The first examination was a long one. Further interviews varied in length according to the needs of the child. All the 62 stammerers found in the survey are dealt with in this thesis whether they presented specially interesting points or not. It was felt that the relative importance of different causes would be better presented in this way and a more comprehensive, if less exciting, studyshown. In the Appendix C. a summary of case histories is given and for the sake of brevity, only positive findings have been recorded together with negative points which were thought to have some significance in the study of each case. It will be shown that stammering in all but a few cases of delayed physiological speech development is a neurotic reaction and that a number of causes work together in most of these children to produce the neurosis. The bearing of this on future outlook and treatment is discussed.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Speech therapy
Date of Award: 1939
Depositing User: Enlighten Team
Unique ID: glathesis:1939-80156
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 31 Mar 2020 09:09
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2020 09:09
URI: https://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/80156

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