Phonological Priming in Picture Naming of Young Children Who Stutter

Melnick, Kenneth S.; Conture, Edward G.; Ohde, Ralph N.
December 2003
Journal of Speech, Language & Hearing Research;Dec2003, Vol. 46 Issue 6, p1428
Academic Journal
The purpose of this study was to assess the influence of phonological priming on the speech reaction time (SRT) of children who do (CWS) and who do not (CWNS) stutter during a picture-naming task. Participants were eighteen 3-5-year-old CWS (M = 50.67 months, SD = 11.83 months), matched in age and gender with 18 CWNS (M = 49.44 months, SD = 10.22 months). The picture-naming task required each child to name, one at a time, computer-presented, white-on-black line drawings of common, age-appropriate objects "as quickly as you can" during 3 different conditions: (a) no prime, (b) related prime, and (c) unrelated prime, with naming latency (alternatively referred to as SRT; in milliseconds) as the main dependent variable. Results indicated that all children exhibited faster or shorter SRTs during the related condition compared to the no prime condition. Similarly, SRT was influenced with advancing age for all children, with 5-year-olds exhibiting faster SRTs than 3-year-olds. Furthermore, CWNS, but not CWS, demonstrated a negative correlation between articulatory mastery and SRT. Findings were taken to suggest that phonological priming is a feasible procedure for studying the speech-language planning and production of 3-5-year-old children and that preschool children who stutter, as a group, may have somewhat less well developed articulatory systems than preschool children who do not stutter.


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