The impact of stuttering in the university

Told by women


  • Michael Azios University of Louisiana at Lafayette
  • Maria Stamatis University of Louisiana at Lafayette
  • Thales De Nardo Lamar University
  • John Tetnowski Oklahoma State University



Stuttering, University Setting, Women, Support Systems


Objective: The aims of this investigation were to explore (a) the experiences of women who stutter in university settings; (b) the impact of stuttering related to the emotions attached to stuttering; (c) the impact of stuttering on relationships for women; and (d) coping and management of stuttering within the university setting.

Method: Interpretive phenomenological analysis was used to understand the lived experiences of women who stutter when attending university. In-depth semi-structured interviews were collected from seven women who stutter and subjected to inductive analysis.

Results: Qualitative data analysis indicated that participants reported four themes related to their university experiences: ‘Role of support’; ‘Client-centered therapy’; ‘Role of authoritative figures’; and ‘The stuttering stereotype exists.’

Discussion: Women are presented with unique challenges while attending university, as they must combat stereotypes related to stuttering and being a woman, and they must also overcome the related obstacles.

Conclusions: There is much work to be done in the university setting, in order to change how people who stutter are portrayed and how stuttering is perceived. These data point toward the need for advocacy training within the university setting, and for more holistic approaches to be utilized in stuttering intervention.

Author Biographies

Michael Azios, University of Louisiana at Lafayette

Michael Azios, PhD, CCC-SLP, is an associate professor in the Communicative Disorders Department at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. He is a person who stutters and has over 15 years’ experience working with people who stutter and their families. His research interests include exploring the effectiveness of counseling practices with persons who stutter and promoting advocacy training within all educational institutions.

Maria Stamatis, University of Louisiana at Lafayette

Maria Stamatis, MS, CCC-SLP, is a practicing speech-language pathologist in southeast Texas, with interests in promoting advocacy and education within the disability culture, specifically stuttering. She has presented on the topic of stuttering at the local and national level.

Thales De Nardo, Lamar University

Thales De Nardo, PhD, CCC-SLP, is an assistant professor in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at Western Carolina University. His research interests are the psychosocial aspects of stuttering and clinical techniques for improving daily interactions.

John Tetnowski, Oklahoma State University

John Tetnowski, PhD, CCC-SLP, is the Jeanette Sias Endowed Chair in Communication Sciences and Disorders at Oklahoma State University. He is a fluency specialist and a Fellow of the American Speech–Language–Hearing Association. He has published over 80 manuscripts on fluency disorders and research methods.


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How to Cite

Azios, M., Stamatis, M., De Nardo, T., & Tetnowski, J. (2022). The impact of stuttering in the university: Told by women. Journal of Interactional Research in Communication Disorders, 13(2), 147–170.




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