Date of Award

5-2015

Degree Type

Honors College Thesis

Department

Speech and Hearing Sciences

First Advisor

Ramesh Bettagere, Ph.D.

Advisor Department

Speech and Hearing Sciences

Abstract

Research on stuttering has reflected the perceptions of speech-language pathologists (Swartz, Gabel & Irani, 2009; Crichton-Smith, Wright & Stackhouse, 2003; Cooper & Cooper, 1996; Kalinowski, Armson, J., Stuart, A., & Lerman, J. W., 1993; Daniels, Panico, & Sudhoolt, 2011), students (Mayo & Mayo, 2013; Dorsey & Guenther, 2000), and professors (Dorsey & Guenther, 2000; Silverman, 1990; Ruscello et al., 1990) toward people who stutter (PWS). The findings of the aforementioned studies indicated there is neither a wholly positive or negative attitudinal trend in the perceptions towards PWS within or across groups. Only one study was conducted (15 years ago) that examined the differences between the attitudes of college professors and students toward PWS. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to conduct research on college professors’ and students’ perceptions toward college students who stutter (CSWS), including assessment of personal beliefs and knowledge on stuttering. The variables considered in the current study included the perceptions of college professors, graduate students, and undergraduate students as well as the perceptions of College of Health professors versus professors in other colleges on campus. Data were collected through the electronic distribution of a survey to each college on the campus of The University of Southern Mississippi. A total of 339 valid surveys were returned and analyzed. The results yielded that, overall, all participant groups indicated a neutral to positive perception toward CSWS. Professors showed slightly more positive perceptions. No significant differences were found between College of Health professors and professors in other colleges. A need was determined for further study of the perceptions of college students and professors toward CSWS in different regions of the world as well as on examining the factors contributing to positive perceptions toward CSWS.

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