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Original Research

PBS. 2022; 12(3): 99-105

Peer bullying, anxiety, and depression levels among Turkish children with Childhood Onset Fluency Disorder (COFD): A single-center, case-control study

Fethiye Kılıcaslan, Ekrem Cicek, Sumeyra Gungoren, Meryem Ozlem Kutuk, Ali Evren Tufan.


Objective: Childhood Onset Fluency Disorder (COFD) is associated with elevated levels of emotional/ behavioral problems and peer bullying. Studies on Turkish children with COFD are limited. We aimed to evaluate rates of peer bullying and its relationships with stuttering severity and symptoms of depression and anxiety among Turkish children with COFD.
Method: Forty 8-12 years old children with COFD without comorbid neurological/ medical disorders and 36 age- and gender-matched controls were evaluated with self-report scales for depression, trait/ state anxiety and peer bullying. Stuttering severity was evaluated with Stuttering Severity Instrument-4. Multivariate and bivariate analyses were used in comparisons. P was set at 0.05.
Results: COFD group had significantly elevated depression and state anxiety scores while trait anxiety was elevated but at trend levels. 52.5 % of children with COFD was bullied while this rate was 27.8 % for controls (Odds Ratio= 2.9). Bullying was not related with gender, self-reported symptoms and stuttering severity.
Conclusion: Standardized trainings/practices should be introduced among Turkish speech and language therapists to screen and address peer bullying, depression, and anxiety among children with COFD in collaboration with child and adolescent psychiatrists.

Key words: Stuttering, children, bullying, anxiety, depression

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