Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences


Speech Pathology and Audiology

First Advisor

Dr. Charles Van Riper

Second Advisor

Dr. George G. Mallinson

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


Chapter I


The Purpose of This Study

Sixteen adult subjects, four female and twelve male stutterers, participated in an eleven-weak experiment for the purpose of discovering the affects, if any, of one milligram per day of the drug reserpine on both a stutterer's speech and his attitudes toward stuttering.

A Developmental History of the Drug Reserpine (23:8-40)

Reserpine is a pure crystalline alkaloid of the rauwolfia root commonly found in India, Ceylon, Burma, the Andaman Islands, Java, and Malaya.

The plant is named for Dr. Leohnard Rauwolf of Augsburg, a German botanist, physician, and explorer, who, in a publication of an account of his travels in 1582, included a description of this "snake-root" plant and its seemingly active properties.

For centuries medical practitioners in India had prescribed chewing of the root of the rauwolfia plant to their patients to alleviate a long list of ailments. Its legendary powers grow and were passed on, but when they reached the modern research world, medical men seemed to feel that such reports were greatly exaggerated. Thus investigation of this plant was ignored by Western science until within the past ten years.