Analysis of the Self-Stigma of Stuttering Scale Structure and the Association between Self-Stigmatization and Personality Traits


  • Ivan Milić Hrvatsko katoličko sveučilište, Zagreb, Hrvatska
  • Dominik-Borna Ćepulić Hrvatsko katoličko sveučilište, Zagreb, Hrvatska


stuttering, self-stigma, self-stigma of stuttering scale, personality traits


Aside from speech issues, people who stutter (PWS) also deal with psychological problems potentially related to other people’s reactions to stuttering and internalization of negative beliefs. Self-Stigma of Stuttering Scale (4S) measures the awareness of stigmatizing attitudes/stereotypes towards PWS, being in agreement with them and their application in one’s life. Previous research showed that all three aspects correlated with negative psychological outcomes, like anxiety and depression. In this research, our goal was to investigate the structure of the 4S scale and the relationship of self-stigma with extraversion, emotional stability, conscientiousness, agreeableness, intellect and perfectionism. The sample was gathered via an online survey using the snowball technique. The final analyses included 135 PWS (46.7% female), aged 18-69 years. The exploratory factor analysis showed a more complex structure of the 4S scale than previous studies. Stigma awareness was split into three factors describing what participants think: a) what most people believe about the characteristics of PWS (Awareness – Character), b) how most people feel when talking to a PWS (Awareness – Emotion) and c) what most people believe how a PWS should behave (Awareness – Behavior). The fourth factor reflected Stereotype Agreement, whereas the two Stigma Application factors mirrored: a) how participants felt (Application – Emotion) and b) what participants were reluctant to do due to stuttering (Application – Behavior). Regression analyses showed that extraversion was related with lower Agreement and lower Application in general, whereas emotional stability was associated with lower Application – Emotion. These findings suggest that some personality traits may act as protective factors against the development of self-stigma in PWS.