Doctoral researcher, Ria Bernard, examined the risk for elevated anxiety and depression symptoms in children and young people who stammer relative to children who do not stammer. Her doctoral research consisted of three projects:
- Systematic review and synthesis of previous studies examining anxiety and depression in children who do and do not stammer (aged 3 – 18).
- A national online questionnaire examining anxiety and depression symptoms and experience of bullying in children who do and do not stammer in the UK (aged 8 – 15).
- Using longitudinal population data from the Millennium Cohort Study, this project analysed anxiety and depression symptom trajectories over time reported by children who stammer, children who have other speech or language difficulties, and children who report no difficulties.
- Some children who stammer report elevated anxiety symptoms compared to their non-stammering peers.
- There was little evidence that stammering is associated with elevated depression symptoms.
- Family history of adverse mental health, being female, experiencing bullying and presenting with co-occurring developmental difficulties may be associated with increased risk for elevated anxiety and depression symptoms.
- There was little evidence that children who stammer in the general population are at greater risk of clinical levels of anxiety.
You can read more about the findings reported as part of this doctoral research in the following publications:
Bernard, R., Hofslundsengen, H. C., & Norbury, C. F. (2022). Anxiety and depression symptoms in children who stutter: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of Speech, Language and Hearing Research.
Bernard, R. F. L., & Norbury, C. F. (2023). Factors associated with elevated symptoms of anxiety and depression in children who stutter. Language, Speech & Hearing Services in Schools.