A Preliminary Study of Disfluency Characteristics and Quality of Life Aspects of Turkish-Speaking Adults Who Clutter

Mehmet Emrah Cangi Sevde Burcu Özel

Introduction: Cluttering is briefly defined by speech that is perceived as fast and/or irregular. Examination of cluttering literature reveals that the main features of the symptoms of the rapid and/or irregular speech are quite clear, whereas accompanying symptoms are not. This might be the result of the presence of possible subtypes in cluttering, the use of different research procedures, working with small groups, as well as having these studies in different languages Therefore, descriptive studies specific to language are essential. In the literature, predominantly the fluency characteristics of English-speaking individuals were examined. It was deemed  important to examine the disfluency characteristics of individuals who speak an agglutinative language such as Turkish. Purpose: The aim of this study was to investigate the disfluency characteristics of Turkish-speaking adults who have cluttering. Accordingly, the first of the sub-objectives is to determine the distribution of disfluency a) stuttering-like, b) non-stuttering-like disfluency types in spontaneous speech and reading. The telescoping behaviors were also examined in detail under the scope of disfluency. Another aim of the study was to investigate the relationship between total disfluencies in spontaneous speech and total disfluency in reading. One other purpose was to examine the relationship between expert assessment and participants' self-assessments based on Predictive Cluttering Inventory-PCI scores. The final aim of the study was to examine the quality of life, participation and satisfaction of the participants related to cluttering. Method: This study used descriptive survey and correlational survey models to determine the disfluency characteristics of adults who clutter. Based on the criteria suggested in the literature, two women (20%) and eight men (80%), 10 adults in total 23 to 39 years of age (X = 29.9, SD = 5.82), whose native language is Turkish and diagnosed with cluttering by a Speech and Language Therapist were included in this study. Spontaneous speech and reading samples were taken from the participants. Predictive Cluttering Inventory-PCI, which evaluates cluttering in four dimensions as pragmatic, motor-speech, language-cognition, and motor coordination-writing problems, was used. Both experts and participants answered this inventory. Also, the Cluttering Quality of Life and Satisfaction Questionnaire developed by the researchers was used to measure their thoughts, attitudes, and participation about fast-impaired speech. Disfluencies in speech and reading samples were classified according to the literature, and descriptive statistics were calculated. SPSS 21 package program was used to analyze the data. The relationship between the two variables was analyzed by correlation analysis between the total values ​​of spontaneous speech fluency and reading fluency. Spearman, Pearson, and Kendall's tau-b tests were used to analyze the relationship between expert assessment and participant self-assessment. Results and Discussion: In spontaneous speech samples, it was observed that the most frequent disfluencies were abnormal pauses, interjections, and unfinished sentence. The reading samples included abnormal pauses, word repetition, and revisions, in that order. Types of disfluency that occured during reading did not include sound repetitions and unfinished words. The nonstuttering-like disfluencies were about ten times that of stuttering-like disfluencies. These results are, to a large extent, compatible with the literature. The heterogeneous nature of cluttering may explain the higher stuttering-like disfluencies in some participants. Although the percentages vary from one person to another, telescoping behavior was seen in all participants. The rate of exhibiting this behavior varies between 1% and 17% (X = 5.8, SD = 5.42). This result can be explained by the agglutinating morphological structure of Turkish. Although there was no statistical significance between the self-assessment and expert inventory ratings, the participants considered themselves to be more positive when they evaluated their cluttering characteristics compared to the assessments of Speech and Language Therapists. This finding may be related to lack of self-awareness, which is often associated with cluttering. When the quality of life and satisfaction of the participants related to cluttering are examined, it is seen that the responses are generally positive. In other words, participants reported that they did not hide their cluttering to a great extent. However, 60% of the respondents answered item 6 which is "When I first meet people, I make a special effort not to be noticed that I speak fast-impaired" by "I agree a bit" or "I fully agree."


Turkish, cluttering, disfluency type, telescoping, life quality


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