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The Role of Identity-Related Thoughts and Feelings in Psychological Health Outcomes among Adults Who Stutter

Dr. Gerlach will discuss a new framework for conceptualizing stuttering, as a concealable stigmatized identity. She will describe her research on relationships between identity-related thoughts and behaviors and psychological distress among adults who stutter. Specifically, we will discuss how the extent that people who stutter 1) think about their stuttering, 2) define themselves by their stuttering, and 3) conceal or reveal their stuttering relate to psychological health. Attendees can expect to engage in lively discussion and share their views about stuttering, stigma, and identity.

Hope Gerlach, Ph.D., CCC-SLP is an assistant professor at Western Michigan University. Her research focuses on identifying and reducing disparities in quality of life between people who stutter and typically fluent speakers. Currently, she is studying the role of stigma-identity constructs in distress among adults who stutter. She has been actively involved in support organizations for people who stutter and has worked as a speech-language pathologist at several summer camps for youth who stutter.