Rhyming abilities in a dual-task in school-age children who stutter

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Purpose: We compared school-age children who stutter (CWS) and age and gender matched control participants (CWNS) in a dual-task involving a word-level rhyming task and a tone task involving pitch decisions. Methods: Participants were 30 children (CWS, n = 15) between 7 and 16 years. Auditory word – picture stimuli pairs from the rhyme task were categorized into nonrhyme (e.g., bear-cart), rhyme (e.g., bear-pear), and replica (e.g., bear-bear) categories. The effort associated with managing resources in the dual-task was varied through the manipulation of stimulus onset asynchrony (SOA) between the stimuli of the two tasks. Mixed methods analyses of the response time (RT, ms) and error (%) data were conducted with Group, Category, and SOA as the fixed effects and participants as the random effect. Age and phoneme awareness skills were included in the analyses. Results: More rhyming errors and a significant positive correlation between rhyming errors and age was observed in the CWS compared to the CWNS. Compared to the CWNS, a higher percentage of rhyming errors was observed in the rhyme than the nonrhyme and replica categories in the CWS in both the SOA conditions, and this effect was influenced by age and phoneme awareness skills. Analysis of the tone task data indicated that a subgroup of CWNS with higher phoneme awareness skills showed reduced RT difference between the long and the short SOA conditions thereby suggesting higher efficiency with resource allocation for dual tasking. Task-specific differences between the CWS and CWNS are interpreted to suggest limitations in the encoding of the phonological aspects of covert speech in a dual-task.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number105864
JournalJournal of Fluency Disorders
StatePublished - Sep 1 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This project was supported by the PI's start-up funds at the University of Minnesota. We thank Dayeong Yang and Erin Weathers for assistance with data collection and reliability coding; Ms. Linda Hinderschiet and the Julia Davis Speech-Language-Hearing Center for participant recruitment. We acknowledge Dr. Edward Carney for technical assistance. Erin Weathers participated in this research through the College of Liberal Arts, Dean's Freshman Research Award Program, University of Minnesota.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Elsevier Inc.


  • Cognitive resources
  • Dual tasking
  • Rhyming
  • Stuttering

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't


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