Anxiety disorders in children who stutter

Iverach et al. tested children who stutter (ages 7–12 yrs) on various measures of anxiety (a large, thorough study) and found that these children “… had six-fold increased odds for social anxiety disorder, seven-fold increased odds for subclinical generalized anxiety disorder, and four-fold increased odds for any anxiety disorder” compared to controls. This is important, because though we’re fully trained to treat the communication aspect of their disorder, we need to be consulting or referring out for psychological intervention more often that many of us are. This study didn’t address the chicken–egg issue of how or why stuttering and anxiety disorders co-occur (I’m sure you all could posit many possibilities, including genetics, cumulative negative experiences related to their speech, cognitive feedback loops), but for clinical purposes, for now we just need to be making sure our clients are getting the help they need.

See: Iverach, L., Jones, M., McLellan, L.F., Lyneham, H.J., Menzies, R.G., Onslow, M., Rapeea, R.M. (2016). Prevalence of anxiety disorders among children who stutter. Journal of Fluency Disorders, 49, 13–28.