Faculty Friday - Dr. J. Scott Yaruss

October 2, 2020 - Jade Greear

Dr. Yaruss has been a Professor in the Department of Communicative Sciences and Disorders at Michigan State University since 2017. In addition to his work at the university, he is also a practicing speech-language pathologist with more than 25 years of clinical experience, and a board-certified specialist in fluency disorders. Dr. Yaruss is also the co-owner of a publishing company, Stuttering Therapy Resources, which provides free resources, therapy guides, books, and assessments to help speech language pathologists help individuals who stutter. We connected with Dr. Yaruss, and these are some things he told us about his research:

Tell us a little about your research 

  • “Two of my primary lines of research right now are really exciting for me: First, a series of ongoing surveys and qualitative studies examining the experience of stuttering from the perspective of individuals who stutter. Most of the research in the field has focused on how listeners perceive stuttering (cataloging behaviors such as how often a person appears to stutter or how disruptive it is to the listener). Precious little work has examined how people who stutter themselves feel about moments of stuttering. We have been able to report many new findings about how people who stutter experience stuttering, and this has important implications for both theoretical and clinical work. Second, I am just starting a new NIH-funded R01 study examining the experience of stuttering in real-world situations. All of the prior research in the field has been based on speech samples collected in clinical or laboratory settings, even though we know that people who stutter do so in different ways in different situations. People who stutter routinely report that their in-clinic/in-lab assessments do not reflect their performance in the real world. We will be collecting the first-ever real-world speech samples by having people wear a portable recording device so that we can compare contrived speech samples (clinic or lab) to REAL speech samples. This will lead to improvements in our understanding of when and why stuttering occurs and, ultimately, it will help us refine the instruments that we use in clinical assessments of stuttering.”

Could you share some examples of your recent work?

  • “Two of our recent publications from 2019 provide the foundation for our work on understanding the speaker's experience of stuttering”: 
      • Tichenor, S., & Yaruss, J.S. (2019). Group experiences and individual differences in stuttering. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 62(12), 4335-4350. https://doi.org/10.1044/2019_JSLHR-19-00138. 
      • Tichenor, S., & Yaruss, J.S. (2019). Stuttering as defined by adults who stutter. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 62(12), 4356-4369. https://doi.org/10.1044/2019_JSLHR-19-00137

To learn more about Dr. Yaruss, visit his website here