The question of whether there are different causes of stuttering has been debated heavily in scientific circles. Overall, a general consensus has developed that there might be more than one cause, but all of them are thought to be primarily physical. Although emotions and environmental factors during childhood might make the problem worse or better, the primary causes of stuttering appear to be related to the way the brain operates while a person is speaking.
Some studies suggest people who stutter are very likely to suffer from a large variety of emotional problems. Over the years, there have been many scientists who made a direct connection between these emotional difficulties and stuttering problems. Among many experts, it was generally decided that these emotional disorders were the result of social issues related to growing up with a stuttering problem rather than actual causes of stuttering.
There is evidence to suggest that emotional difficulties might also work to aggravate a stuttering issue that is already present. Even people who have had therapy to control stuttering can have some of their problems re-develop when they become nervous, afraid, or angry. For some people, one of the primary aspects of stuttering therapy is learning to control emotions so that they can maintain good smooth speech patterns.
There have also been some questions about whether one of the causes of stuttering might be neglect or child abuse. In a broad sense, the evidence generally does not suggest that this is the case, but experts have identified a possible connection. Many children have an issue with stuttering during their lives, but most of them eventually learn to speak without difficulty. It is possible that children raised in difficult environments might not receive the care they need to overcome their stuttering problems. So, in essence, even though the origin of their stuttering problems may not be related to their upbringing, the severity of the problems might be.
Regardless of the causes of stuttering, treatments will generally work better when applied to younger children. People who are older often have a much harder time overcoming stuttering problems, although there are some success stories, and usually people are able to achieve some level of improvement. Sometimes when treating younger children, the main therapy involves the parents totally changing their day-to-day speech patterns so that the child can better learn to speak smoothly by listening to them. In adults, therapy for stuttering often involves the person learning an entirely different approach to speaking.