Purpose: The purpose of this study was to assess attention problems and intratest scatter (variability) of responses to standardized tests of expressive language by preschool-age children who do (CWS) and do not stutter (CWNS).
Method: Participants were 40 preschool-age CWS (30 males) and 46 CWNS (32 males). Between-group comparisons of attention were made using attention subscales of the Child Behavior Checklist for Ages 1 ½ - 5 (CBCL; Achenbach & Rescorla, 2000). Likewise, between-group comparisons of intratest scatter were based on participant responses to the Expressive subtest of the Test of Early Language Development – 3 (TELD-Exp; Hresko, Reid, & Hamill, 1999) and the Expressive Vocabulary Test 2 (EVT-2; Williams, 2007). Furthermore, within-group assessment of the relation between CWS’ scatter and their stuttering frequency was conducted.
Results: Results indicated no significant between-group differences in intratest scatter on the TELD-Exp and EVT-2, nor significant correlations between scatter and Attention Problems on the CBCL. Findings did indicate that for CWS, categorical scatter on the EVT-2 was positively correlated with their stuttering frequency.
Conclusions: Consistent with earlier findings, variability in speech-language performance appears to be related to CWS’ stuttering, suggesting that perhaps some other underlying cognitive-linguistic variable (e.g., cognitive load) may be common to both variables and salient to a better understanding of developmental stuttering.