Access Type

Open Access Dissertation

Date of Award

January 2015

Degree Type


Degree Name



Communication Sciences and Disorders

First Advisor

Derek E. Daniels


The purpose of this study was to explore the experiences of people who stutter who digitally connect and share with other people who stutter on a social networking site, specifically Facebook. This study used a qualitative, ethnographic approach to gain insight from members of a private Facebook group for people who stutter and to collect their opinions as to whether an online community was a beneficial means of obtaining psychosocial support from other people who stutter. The primary investigator collected textual data and artifacts from 3 months of Facebook group postings, semi-structured interviews with 7 of the Facebook group members, and anonymous responses from a written questionnaire. The primary investigator analyzed all of the data for major and minor themes. To establish credibility, all research findings were consistently shared with participants to validate, clarify, and question the results. Also, they were encouraged expand upon or delete any of their specifically contributed words if they felt the need to. In addition, 3 independent investigators (2 with a background in stuttering and 1 with expertise in social networking sites) performed separate thematic analyses. Their findings were compared with those of the primary investigator to gauge the consistency of themes. Data analysis revealed 8 major themes, which included the benefits and challenges of participating in an online community for stuttering; the types of support that existed within an online community for stuttering, which included providing information, posting questions, giving encouragement, and engaging in humor; and the healthy debate and honest and varied opinions that members had within the online community. Results suggested that, for people who stutter, digitally connecting and sharing privately on Facebook was a useful and impactful way to gain psychosocial support from other people who stutter.