Comparisons of Clinical Self-Efficacy and Stigma Variance in Speech Language Pathologists Who Stutter and Do Not Stutter
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Purpose: To evaluate clinical self-efficacy and stigma variance between practicing SLPs who stutter (SLPs-WS) and do not stutter (SLPs-WDS). Method: The modified SLP Clinical Self-Efficacy Inventory and the Self-Stigma of Stuttering Scale were completed as surveys by 18 SLPs who stutter and 50 SLPs who do not stutter. Comparisons were made between the groups, but also evaluated the effects of years of experience and type of task (oral vs non-oral) on self-efficacy. Results/Discussion: The average overall clinical self-efficacy from both groups of SLPs was over 90%; there was no difference between the groups. Years of experience was identified as a statistically significant predictor of overall clinical self-efficacy. Finally, SLPs who stutter showed higher self-efficacy for non-oral tasks than oral tasks, while SLPs who do not stutter did not show a preference across oral and non-oral tasks. Regardless of possessing rich clinical understanding of stuttering, both groups of SLPs revealed moderate stigma regarding persons who stutter. SLPs who stutter, however, seemed to minimally internalize that stigma in their daily and professional activities. Conclusions: Stuttering appeared to have minimal effect on the self-efficacy of clinicians practicing in speech-language pathology. Small differences in confidence related to oral and non-oral tasks suggest the stuttering behavior or negative feedback related to stuttering does have an impact on SLPs who stutter. For both groups, gaining clinical experience improved self-efficacy, as they had successful experiences to build upon. SLPs who stutter experience and acknowledge stigma, though it does not seem to affect daily clinical practice as measured through selfefficacy. It is unreasonable to stigmatize or discriminate citizens who stutter, as that brings great risk of limiting and restricting their activity and social participation. Clinical implications and future directions of this study are also discussed.