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.
- Quality of life
- Support groups