Henry E. Baud

Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Shearer, William M.||Rose, Darrell E.

Degree Name

M.A. (Master of Arts)

Legacy Department

Department of Speech


Mentally handicapped; Stuttering


The purpose of this study was to determine if mentally retarded stutterers would show adaptation curves similar to normal stutterers on five consecutive readings of the same passage. The investigation used mentally retarded individuals from the Dixon State School, Dixon, Illinois, and the Special Education Classroom of McHenry County, located at Marengo, Illinois. Two groups, one consisting of eight (8) stutterers and a control group consisting of twelve (12) nonstutterers, were established. Each subject read a 200 word passage five times. The number of nonfluencies for each reading was recorded and the means calculated. Curves were plotted for each group and also for three severity levels (mild, moderate, and severe) within the groups. A t-test was computed for the different scores between the first and third readings of each group. The results showed s t of 2.39 which is significant at the .05 level of confidence. A comparison of the curves to those in a parallel study showed that adaptation curves for normal and for mentally retarded individuals were primarily the same. This held true also in a comparison of the curves of the various levels of severity. From this it is possible to draw the conclusion that adaptation in stutterers of normal intelligence and adaptation for mentally retarded individuals is very similar. If indeed adaptation is comparable to learned behavior, the mentally retarded stutterers should have shown less adaptation because of their decreased learning abilities. Another possible explanation would be that even though the subjects were mentally retarded they were capable of lower forms of learning and thus the adaptation effect could be concerned with learning on this low level.


Includes bibliographical references.||Includes illustrations.


29 pages




Northern Illinois University

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