Revisiting Bloodstein's Anticipatory Struggle Hypothesis from a psycholinguistic perspective: A Variable Release Threshold hypothesis of stuttering
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Brocklehurst, P., Lickley, R. & Corley, M. (2013) Revisiting Bloodstein's Anticipatory Struggle Hypothesis from a psycholinguistic perspective: A Variable Release Threshold hypothesis of stuttering, Journal of Communication Disorders, vol. 46, , pp. 217-237,
This paper reviews Bloodstein's (1975) Anticipatory Struggle Hypothesis of stuttering, identifies its weaknesses, and proposes modifications to bring it into line with recent advances in psycholinguistic theory. The review concludes that the Anticipatory Struggle Hypothesis provides a plausible explanation for the variation in the severity of stuttered disfluencies across speaking situations and conversation partners. However, it fails to explain the forms that stuttered disfluencies characteristically take or the subjective experience of loss of control that accompanies them. The paper then describes how the forms and subjective experiences of persistent stuttering can be accounted for by a threshold-based regulatory mechanism of the kind described in Howell's (2003) revision of the EXPLAN hypothesis. It then proposes that shortcomings of both the Anticipatory Struggle and EXPLAN hypotheses can be addressed by combining them together to create a 'Variable Release Threshold' hypothesis whereby the anticipation of upcoming difficulty leads to the setting of an excessively high threshold for the release of speech plans for motor execution. The paper also reconsiders the possibility that two stuttering subtypes exist: one related to formulation difficulty and other to difficulty initiating motor execution. It concludes that research findings that relate to the one may not necessarily apply to the other. Learning outcomes: After reading this article, the reader will be able to: (1) summarize the key strengths and weaknesses of Bloodstein's Anticipatory Struggle Hypothesis; (2) describe two hypothesized mechanisms behind the production of stuttered disfluencies (tension and fragmentation & release threshold mechanisms); and (3) discuss why the notion of anticipation is relevant to current hypotheses of stuttering. 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.