Bullying in children who stutter: Speech-language pathologists' perceptions and intervention strategies

Gordon W. Blood, Michael P. Boyle, Ingrid M. Blood, Gina R. Nalesnik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


Bullying in school-age children is a global epidemic. School personnel play a critical role in eliminating this problem. The goals of this study were to examine speech-language pathologists' (SLPs) perceptions of bullying, endorsement of potential strategies for dealing with bullying, and associations among SLPs' responses and specific demographic and practice-oriented variables. A survey was developed and mailed to 1000 school-based SLPs. Six vignettes describing episodes of physical, verbal, and relational bullying of hypothetical 10-year students who stutter were developed. Three vignettes described bullying specifically mentioning stuttering behaviors, while three described bullying without mentioning stuttering behavior. The data from 475 SLPs were analyzed. SLPs rated physical bullying as most serious and in need of intervention, followed by verbal bullying. Relational bullying was rated as not serious or in need of intervention. SLPs also responded to the likelihood of using strategies for dealing with bullying. Physical and verbal bullying elicited the use of " talking with the teacher" , " working with school personnel" , and " reassuring the child of his safety" strategies. Relational bullying elicited " ignore the problem" and " be more assertive" strategies. Correlations among variables are reported. The seriousness of physical and verbal bullying, likelihood of intervention, and the lack of knowledge about relational bullying is discussed.Educational objectives: Readers should be able to: (1) summarize the research describing the negative effects of three major types of bullying, (2) summarize the research describing bullying and children with communication disorders, especially stuttering, (3) report results of a survey of speech-language pathologists' (SLPs) perceptions of bullying in school-age children, (4) explain the perceived seriousness of the problem by SLPs and likelihood of intervention, and (5) describe the need for continued prevention and intervention activities for children who stutter.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)92-109
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Fluency Disorders
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2010


  • Bullying
  • Intervention
  • Seriousness
  • Stuttering
  • Vignettes


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