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The purposes of this study were to investigate naturalness of the post-treatment speech
of Comprehensive Stuttering Program (CSP) clients and differences in naturalness ratings
by three listener groups. Listeners were 21 student speech-language pathologists,
9 community members, and 15 listeners who stutter. Listeners rated perceptually fluent
speech samples of CSP clients obtained immediately post-treatment (Post) and at 5
years follow-up (F5), and speech samples of matched typically fluent (TF) speakers.
A 9-point interval rating scale was used. A 3 (listener group)x2 (time)x2 (speaker)
mixed ANOVA was used to test for differences among mean ratings. The difference between
CSP Post and F5 mean ratings was statistically significant. The F5 mean rating was
within the range reported for typically fluent speakers. Student speech-language pathologists
were found to be less critical than community members and listeners who stutter in
rating naturalness; however, there were no significant differences in ratings made
by community members and listeners who stutter. Results indicate that the naturalness
of post-treatment speech of CSP clients improves in the post-treatment period and
that it is possible for clients to achieve levels of naturalness that appear to be
acceptable to adults who stutter and that are within the range of naturalness ratings
given to typically fluent speakers.