Research about stuttering is an important part of what we do at START.

Over the years, the Stuttering Treatment and Research Trust has collaborated with a number of national and international organisations including Australian Stuttering Research Centre (ASRC), University of Technology Sydney (UTS), Murdoch Children’s Research Institute (MCRI) and New Zealand Coaching and Mentoring Centre (NZMC). START also supports Honours students from Massey University’s Speech Language Therapy Programme and Masters students from University of Auckland’s Speech Science Programme to complete research into stuttering within New Zealand.  Most recently this has involved developing a Teacher Resource.

We also support other organisations and individuals in their research, and encourage people who stutter to participate (if interested). Current research projects are listed below:

International perspectives of adults who stutter on the relationship between them and the speech and language therapist

Emma Byrne is a fourth year undergraduate student in the Department of Clinical Speech and Language Studies at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland. Emma is looking for adults who stutter to be involved in a research project that she is conducting as part of an undergraduate final year project for her Clinical Speech and Language Studies degree, under the supervision of Dr Amy Connery.

She is investigating international perspectives of adults who stutter on therapeutic alliance (i.e. the relationship between the adult who stutters and the speech and language therapist) in stuttering intervention. Emma’s research will be informed by the first-hand experiences of adults who stutter who have attended speech and language therapy, and the results of her analysis will help speech language therapists who work with adults who stutter.

She is looking to conduct short interviews with adults who stutter who have attended speech and language therapy as an adult. A participant information leaflet and consent form will be sent to each participant at least one week prior to the interview. Each participant is invited to complete their interview either in person or online via Microsoft Teams at a time of their convenience. Each interview will be audio recorded for transcription and analysis purposes only. Interview data will be stored using pseudonyms in a double encrypted format (i.e. a password protected laptop and in separate password protected files).

This research proposal, the participant information leaflet, consent form, and interview questions have all received ethical approval from the Research Ethics Committee of Trinity College Dublin (Applicant Code TT58).
If you or someone you know is interested in taking part in this research project please email Emma and she can discuss this with you further.
The study closes on 23 January 2023.

START is involved with the Genetics of Stuttering Study – an international study that is searching for the genes that cause stuttering – and we’re proud to be a part of it.
This is the largest study of its kind and we are encouraging Kiwis who stutter (or have stuttered in the past) to be involved. Stuttering affects 1% of the population (just over 50,000 NZers). Although the exact cause of stuttering is unknown, genetics play a role with researchers identifying four genes that may be linked to stuttering.
Participation in the study is free and easy – volunteers complete a 10 minute online survey then those who meet the study criteria will be asked to provide a saliva sample for DNA analysis. We are encouraging anyone over the age of 7 years, with or without a family history, who stutters or has done in the past, to take part in this exciting study. You will be contributing to a global effort to better understand the genetics of stuttering.
For more information about the study and details on how to sign up please click here.