We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What are the Different Causes of Stuttering in Children?

By Florence J. Tipton
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

The causes of stuttering in children might occur from a neurological injury during a developmental phase or from a psychological factor. Neurogenic stuttering — relating to nerves in the body — may cause stuttering after a serious injury to the brain that alters areas of the nervous system. Developmental stuttering is typically noticeable during early childhood development when small children are learning to talk. Psychogenic stuttering — originating in the mind or emotions and not the body — relates to an emotional or mental stressor that may cause stuttering in children.

When a child suffers a head trauma, signals that control speech patterns might not work normally, causing neurogenic stuttering. Parts of the nervous system that once controlled the connection between the brain and speaking ability are compromised. As a result, a child might have problems related to the activity of speech and formulating words in the brain.

Often during the toddler years, a child is learning her native language. Generally, the brain is slowly searching for words to articulate sentences than the child wants to say. At this age, stuttering may arise from the anxiousness to communicate faster than the brain comprehends speech.

Another cause of stuttering in children deals with the mind. Known as psychogenic factors, medical experts once considered these as primary causes of stuttering in children. Now, research has progressed to view psychogenic factors as contributors to stuttering, rather than direct causes.

For example, a separate speech problem may exist and exacerbate stuttering because of underlying stressors. These stressors could be fatigue, low self-esteem, or nervousness. In some children, feelings of anxiety about a life-altering event could also be a stressor that causes the onset of stuttering.

Reasons for stuttering may vary between toddlers and older children. As mentioned previously, the early language development phase may cause toddlers to stutter. Over a period of time, this phase disappears along with the stuttering. For older children who begin or continue to stutter after the language development phase, the cause could be related to a neurological or emotional issue.

Additionally, certain risk factors may contribute to stuttering in children. A family history of stuttering may exist for most children who continue to stutter beyond the toddler years. Some experts also believe that neurological factors increase the chances of boys experiencing long-term stuttering episodes. This pattern is seen less frequently in most girls within the same age groups.

Some form of speech therapy to improve language patterns might be necessary based on the cause of stuttering and other accompanying behaviors. One likely reason for therapy is if stuttering continues beyond the age of five. This could indicate that it is probably not part of child development. When a child shows unusual fear in a place or situation and stutters, parents might want to seek professional therapy.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Link to Sources
Discussion Comments
WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.