Skip to content

Health & Parenting

Font Size

Stuttering: Risk Factors - Topic Overview

During an evaluation for stuttering, a health professional will consider a child's risk factors to help find out whether the problem is temporary (normal disfluency) or likely to persist (developmental stuttering).

Risk factors (things that increase risk) for stuttering include:1

  • Having a family member whose stuttering did not resolve on its own.
  • Being male. Boys are more likely than girls to keep stuttering.
  • The age that it starts. Children who start to stutter before age 3½ are more likely to outgrow it than children who start to stutter at an older age.
  • The amount of time that it's lasted. A child who has stuttered for at least 6 months may be less likely to outgrow it on his or her own. If it's lasted longer than 12 months, there's even less of a chance that a child will outgrow it on his or her own.
  • How clear the speech is. A child who speaks clearly with few, if any, speech errors may be more likely to outgrow stuttering than a child whose speech errors make him or her hard to understand.
  • Having speech irregularities that have lasted 18 months or more.

Usually each risk factor taken individually is not significant. Rather, the strength of each risk factor and how many are present can help a health professional determine whether stuttering is likely to be a long-term problem.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: August 07, 2012
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
    1
    Next Article:

    Today on WebMD

    Girl holding up card with BMI written
    Is your child at a healthy weight?
    toddler climbing
    What happens in your child’s second year.
     
    father and son with laundry basket
    Get your kids to help around the house.
    boy frowning at brocolli
    Tips for dealing with mealtime mayhem
     
    mother and daughter talking
    Tool
    child brushing his teeth
    Slideshow
     
    Sipping hot tea
    Slideshow
    Young woman holding lip at dentists office
    Video
     
    Which Vaccines Do Adults Need
    Article
    rl with friends
    fitSlideshow
     
    tissue box
    Quiz
    Child with adhd
    Slideshow