Mothers’ and fathers’ attitudes toward stuttering in the Middle East compared to Europe and North America

Hughes S., Junuzovic-Zunic L., Mostafa E., Weidner M., ÖZDEMİR R. S., Daniels D. E., ...More

International Journal of Language and Communication Disorders, vol.59, no.1, pp.354-368, 2024 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 59 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2024
  • Doi Number: 10.1111/1460-6984.12952
  • Journal Name: International Journal of Language and Communication Disorders
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, PASCAL, Business Source Elite, Business Source Premier, CAB Abstracts, CINAHL, Communication & Mass Media Index, EBSCO Education Source, Educational research abstracts (ERA), EMBASE, ERIC (Education Resources Information Center), Linguistics & Language Behavior Abstracts, MEDLINE, MLA - Modern Language Association Database, Psycinfo
  • Page Numbers: pp.354-368
  • Keywords: attitudes, cross-cultural, measurement, parents, stuttering
  • Istanbul Medipol University Affiliated: Yes


Background: Parents play a central role in the treatment of childhood stuttering. Addressing parental attitudes toward stuttering is helpful therapeutically. The extent to which differences in attitudes toward stuttering exist on the basis of sex, geographical region and parental status (e.g., parent of a stuttering child, parent of a nonstuttering child, nonparent) is unclear. Many studies investigating such factors have used the Public Opinion Survey of Human Attributes–Stuttering (POSHA–S) questionnaire. A large POSHA–S database has collected responses from over 20 000 people from 49 countries. Aims: The aim of this study was to use the POSHA-S database to examine the extent to which the following variables influence attitudes toward stuttering: (a) parents’ sex (mothers vs. fathers), (b) geographic region (Middle East vs. Europe and North America), (c) parents’ children (stuttering vs. nonstuttering) and (d) parental status (parents versus nonparents). Methods & Procedures: Data used in this study were extracted from selected, relevant studies that administered the POSHA–S to respondents. The Overall Stuttering Scores were compared on the basis of sex and parent status (i.e., mothers and fathers; nonparent women and men) and were then compared within and across the two geographical areas. Group comparisons were performed using analysis of variance followed by independent t tests, and Cohen's d was calculated to determine effect sizes. Outcomes & Results: Statistically significant differences were observed upon the basis of geographical region. In general, male parents and nonparents tend to have more positive stuttering attitudes among the Middle Eastern samples while female parents and nonparents tend to show more positive attitudes in European and North American samples in the POSHA–S database. Effect sizes were small for all comparisons. Conclusions & Implications: The effect of geographic region and culture may predict sex-based differences among mothers’ and fathers’ attitudes toward stuttering; however, the clinical significance is unclear. Additional research is needed to better understand how children who stutter are affected by their parents’ attitudes toward stuttering. What this paper adds: What is already known on this subject The research clearly indicates that attitudes toward stuttering vary according to geographical region. Less clear is whether mothers and fathers from geographically diverse backgrounds hold different attitudes toward stuttering and the extent to which parental status (being a parent, parent of a child who stutters or nonparent) affects attitudes toward stuttering. What this study adds This study's findings confirm that geographical differences do influence attitudes toward stuttering. Male parents and nonparents tend to have equal or more positive attitudes toward stuttering in Middle Eastern samples, whereas non-Middle Eastern female parents and nonparents tend to show hold more positive attitudes. What are the clinical implications of this work? In addition to being culturally sensitive when working with parents of children who stutter, clinicians should also consider that mothers and fathers may have some differences in attitudes and behaviours toward their child's stuttering. These differences should be considered when designing treatment plans. It should also be noted that, despite statistical significance, the effect sizes in this study were low, suggesting that further research as well as close collaboration with parents of children who stutter is warranted.