Disclosure of stuttering and quality of life in people who stutter

Michael P. Boyle, Kathryn M. Milewski, Carolina Beita-Ell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Purpose: This study investigated the disclosure practices of people who stutter, and the relationship between disclosure of stuttering and quality of life. Method: Participants were 322 adults who stutter recruited from speech-language pathologists and support group leaders. Participants completed a survey that contained items measuring level of disclosure of stuttering, as well as a global measure of self-rated quality of life. Participants were grouped into low, average, and high quality of life subgroups. Analysis of variance tests compared disclosure levels among these subgroups. Results: The low quality of life subgroup reported significantly lower levels of disclosure compared to both the average and high quality of life subgroups. Participants with self-help/support group experience for stuttering demonstrated significantly higher levels of disclosure of stuttering compared to individuals without such experience. In addition, a substantial number of participants in the overall sample reported that they more than rarely feel the need to conceal stuttering from others (40%), and that no one knows that they stutter in many areas of life (37%). Conclusions: Attempts to conceal stuttering in at least some life situations are not uncommon among adults who stutter. However, being involved in self-help support groups may be a helpful way of increasing disclosure of stuttering. Speech-language pathologists should become aware of the positive relationship between disclosure of stuttering and quality of life and its relevance in assessment and treatment when working with people who stutter.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Fluency Disorders
StatePublished - Dec 2018


  • Disclosure
  • Quality of life
  • Stuttering
  • Support groups


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