Turn-Taking Behaviors during Interaction with Adults-Who-Stutter

Debora Freud*, Libat Moria, Ruth Ezrai, Ofer Amir

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Stuttering is a disorder that affects not only the speaker, but also the conversational partner (CP). This study was designed to examine whether people communicate differently with adults-who-stutter (AWS), compared to adults-who-do-not-stutter (AWNS). Specifically, we examined the occurrence of three basic and common turn-taking behaviors (TTBs) used by CPs, during interactions with AWS compared to AWNS. Ten adults (age range 20–32), naïve to the purposes of this study, were recorded during a conversation with four speakers: two AWS and two AWNS. Consequently, a total of 40 conversations were analyzed. Based on transcriptions of these interactions, the relative frequency of the three TTBs (Reinforcers, Interruptions and Completions) was calculated. The ten CPs exhibited a similar proportion of TTBs during their conversations with the AWS and AWNS (p > 0.05). However, during their conversations with the AWS, the CPs exhibited a higher proportion of Interruptions and Completions in response to stuttered turns, compared to fluent turns (p < 0.05). Additionally, the ten CPs exhibited a larger proportion of Reinforcers during their conversations with the AWS with moderate stuttering severity, compared to the AWS with mild severity (p = 0.04). Results provide a preliminary insight to CPs’ communication behavior in the presence of stuttering. Results are interpreted as demonstrating that, within this context, CPs do not exhibit different turn-taking behaviors when conversing with AWS and AWNS. However, CPs exhibit different TTBs in association with stuttered speech, compared to fluent speech of PWS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)509-522
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Developmental and Physical Disabilities
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2016


  • Adults-who-stutter
  • Conversation
  • Stuttering
  • Turn-taking-behavior


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