Stuttering during adulthood is associated with a heightened rate of anxiety disorders, especially social anxiety disorder. Given the early onset of both anxiety and stuttering, this comorbidity could be present among stuttering children.
Participants were 75 stuttering children 7–12 years and 150 matched non-stuttering control children. Multinomial and binary logistic regression models were used to estimate odds ratios for anxiety disorders, and two-sample t-tests compared scores on measures of anxiety and psycho-social difficulties.
Compared to non-stuttering controls, the stuttering group 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.
These results show that, as is the case during adulthood, stuttering during childhood is associated with a significantly heightened rate of anxiety disorders. Future research is needed to determine the impact of those disorders on speech treatment outcomes.