The purpose of this study was to investigate whether Attribution Theory could explain speech-language pathologists (SLPs) perceptions of children with communication disorders such as stuttering. The author reported higher perceived Onset and Offset Controllability of the disorder was linked to less Willingness to Help, lower Sympathy, and more Anger. Increased Blame for stuttering was linked to higher perceived Controllability of stuttering, more Dislike of people who stutter (PWS), and more agreement with Negative Stereotypes about PWS. The author concluded that educating SLPs about the variable loss of control inherent in stuttering could improve attitudes and increase understanding of PWS. Reductions in blame may facilitate feelings of sympathy and empathy for PWS and reduce environmental barriers for clients.
Boyle, Michael. (2014). Understanding perceptions of stuttering among school-based speech-language pathologists: An application of attribution theory. Journal of Communication Disorders, DOI: 10.1016/j.jcomdis.2014.06.003