From age 12 to 17, Christine Abasi attended speech therapy to correct a stuttering disorder. Now, as an undergraduate researcher, she is using her experience to help others.
Abasi, a student in UTA’s Honors College double-majoring in psychology and communication studies, is researching the psychological causes of stuttering to gain insight into effective therapies and develop methods to reduce its stigma.
“Researchers have only been investigating stuttering for the last 60 years,” she says. “It’s an under-resourced field, and research into the cause of the disorder is inconclusive.”
This shortage inspired Abasi to conduct an interdisciplinary investigation, combining existing studies from the fields of biology, neuroscience, psychology, and communication. Her paper on the subject earned an invitation to Texas Undergraduate Research Day, where she presented her research to Texas legislators and members of the public.
With the goal of becoming a speech pathologist, Abasi will spend her final year at UTA researching approaches to reduce the stigma associated with stuttering. She plans to examine how public education and interpersonal communication between those who stutter and the people in their lives can influence how communities respond to those with speech disorders.