What Is Acceptance? The Perceptions of Adults Who Stutter

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Leah Connell (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
Web Site: https://library.appstate.edu/
Joseph Klein

Abstract: The concept of acceptance as it is related to stuttering is relatively new, and thus there is a dearth of research on the topic. Some researchers have presented their definitions for “acceptance,” but there is no universally-accepted definition for acceptance in the field of Speech-Language Pathology. This is the first study to examine the perceptions of people who stutter regarding the meaning and impact of acceptance and the role it plays in stuttering management and recovery. The method involved a self-created survey consisting of two open-ended free response questions, 5 five point Likert-type scale questions, 4 five point Likert-type scale questions with an opportunity to give examples, and one question in which the participant was asked to rank 7 definitions of acceptance as it is related to stuttering from the definition they agree with the most (1) to the definition they agree with the least (7). The survey was distributed via online stuttering support groups on social media websites and was completed by 54 adults who stutter. Results of the survey indicated that acceptance is a crucial component for managing and recovering from stuttering. Most respondents viewed acceptance as a positive and important aspect, instead of as “giving up.” Common themes for the definition of acceptance included: (1) “accepting” stuttering or “accepting” that they are different, (2) the ability to speak freely and not feel the need to hide their stutter, (3) feeling that stuttering is a part of who they are and embracing the role of a person who stutters, and (4) being okay or being comfortable with their stutter. These findings suggest that acceptance is a difficult concept to define in a concrete and universal manner. Common themes for situations in which participants most accepted their stuttering included: (1) around loved ones, (2) when they were being open about their stuttering, (3) around others who stutter or SLPs, (4) talking in casual or familiar conversations and settings, and (5) all or most of the time. This finding suggests that openness and acceptance often coexist and could be interconnected. Overall, participants indicated that acceptance is an important aspect in living with stuttering. More research aimed towards educating people who stutter about what acceptance is and with a larger and more diverse sample size and population is needed.

Additional Information

Honors Project
Connell, L (2016) "What Is Acceptance? The Perceptions of Adults Who Stutter" Unpublished Honor's Thesis. Appalachian State University, Boone, NC
Language: English
Date: 2016

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