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Revista de Saúde Pública

On-line version ISSN 1518-8787


GOULART, Bárbara Niegia Garcia de  and  CHIARI, Brasília Maria. Prevalence of speech disorders in schoolchildren and its associated factors. Rev. Saúde Pública [online]. 2007, vol.41, n.5, pp.726-731. ISSN 1518-8787.

OBJECTIVE: To assess prevalence of speech disorders in schoolchildren and its associated factors. METHODS: Cross-sectional study comprising a random sample of 1,810 schoolchildren attending the first grade in public schools in a city of Southern Brazil, in 2001. Schoolchildren aged between five and 11 years were evaluated using a previously validated speech screening test for phonetic and/or phonologic disorders. Data on school failure, gender, age and maternal and paternal schooling were collected to test associations. Associations between variables were analyzed using the Chi-square test. RESULTS: The prevalence of speech disorders in the children studied was 24.6% and they were more prevalent in younger children aged five and six compared to children aged ten or more. Speech disorders prevalence around five years old was 57% and between eight and ten years old was 42%. Speech disorders frequency was similar in both sexes. The prevalence of disorders was associated to maternal and paternal schooling, 79.5% and 78.6%, respectively, when parents had less then one year of study. CONCLUSIONS: The prevalence of speech disorders among schoolchildren studied was higher than that described in the literature. Parental schooling was a major factor associated to these disorders.

Keywords : Child; Speech disorders [epidemiology]; Risk factors; Socioeconomic factors; Cross-sectional studies.

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