Ross G Menzies

Ross G Menzies
The University of Sydney

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111
Publications
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Publications

Publications (111)
Article
Background: Early intervention is essential healthcare for stuttering, and the translation of research findings to community settings is a potential roadblock to it. Aims: This study was designed to replicate and extend the Lidcombe Program community translation findings of O'Brian et al. (2013) but with larger participant numbers, incorporating...
Article
Background Information about genetic influence is useful to when counselling parents or caregivers who have infants and children at risk for stuttering. Yet, the most comprehensive family aggregate database to inform that counselling is nearly four decades old (Andrews et al., 1983). Consequently, the present study was designed to provide a contemp...
Article
Purpose This study investigated the complexity of stuttering behavior. It described and classified the complexity of stuttering behavior in relation to age, behavioral treatment outcomes, stuttering severity, anxiety-related mental health, impact of stuttering, and gender. Method For this study, a taxonomy was developed—LBDL-C7—which was based on...
Article
Full-text available
Individuals with social anxiety disorder (SAD) commonly receive non-evidence based, ineffective treatments. Cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) has been demonstrated to be the gold standard treatment for treating SAD. Scalable web-based CBT programs ensure evidence-based treatment procedures, but low treatment adherence remains problematic. This stud...
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Purpose This study was designed to answer three questions. (a) Does percentage of syllables stuttered (%SS) differ between standard and challenge phone calls. (b) Does anxiety differ between standard and challenge phone calls. (c) Is there a relationship between %SS and anxiety during standard and challenge phone calls? Method Participants were 23...
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Previous research has highlighted the potential role of existential concerns (ECs) in Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD). However, empirical research has thus far only demonstrated the role of one existential issue in this disorder: namely, death anxiety. The present study explored the relationships between OCD symptoms and five ECs: Death anxiety...
Article
Background Death anxiety has been empirically implicated in obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). Research has shown that secure attachments appear to protect against fear of death, and are also associated with reduced risk of mental illness. However, few studies have investigated the moderating effect of attachment style in the relationship between...
Article
Purpose: The purpose of this laboratory study was to investigate whether rhythmic speech was primarily responsible for stuttering reductions in four school-aged children after the instatement stage of the Westmead Program of syllable-timed speech (STS) intervention. The study was designed to inform further development of the program. Reduction in v...
Article
Purpose Recent research has shown that some school-age children who stutter may have speech-related anxiety. Given this, speech-language pathologists require robust measures to assess the psychological effects of stuttering during the school-age years. Accordingly, this systematic review aimed to explore available measures for assessing the psychol...
Article
Purpose The purpose of this study was to use psychological measures of pre-schoolers who stutter and their parents to inform causal theory development and influence clinical practices. This was done using data from a substantive clinical cohort of children who received early stuttering treatment. Method: The cohort (N = 427) comprised parents and t...
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Purpose During the 2019 Fourth Croatia Clinical Symposium, speech-language pathologists (SLPs), scholars, and researchers from 29 countries discussed speech-language pathology and psychological practices for the management of early and persistent stuttering. This paper documents what those at the Symposium considered to be the key contemporary clin...
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Purpose The purpose of this review article is to provide an overview of the current evidence base for the behavioral management of stuttering and associated social anxiety. Method We overview recent research about stuttering and social anxiety in the context of contemporary cognitive models of social anxiety disorder. That emerging evidence for se...
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Background Information is available about what predicts Lidcombe Program treatment time, but nothing is known about what predicts treatment prognosis. Aims To investigate the predictors of treatment dropout and treatment outcome for children who were treated for early stuttering with the Lidcombe Program (N = 277). Methods & Procedures A total of...
Article
Purpose The Lidcombe Program is an efficacious and effective intervention for early stuttering. The treatment is based on parent verbal response contingent stimulation procedures, which are assumed to be responsible for treatment effect. The present trial tested this assumption. Method The design was a parallel, open plan, noninferiority randomize...
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Full-text available
The recent COVID-19 pandemic has triggered a surge in anxiety across the globe. Much of the public’s behavioural and emotional response to the virus can be understood through the framework of terror management theory, which proposes that fear of death drives much of human behaviour. In the context of the current pandemic, death anxiety, a recently...
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Purpose In a companion paper, we found no statistical reason to favor percentage syllables stuttered (%SS) over parent-reported stuttering severity as a primary outcome measure for clinical trials of early stuttering. Hence, considering the logistical advantages of the latter measure, we recommended parent-reported stuttering severity for use as an...
Chapter
Recent research has highlighted the enormity of psychological suffering reported in communities around the globe. Healthcare systems are buckling under the strain of dealing with the extent of emotional pain arising from the traumas of everyday life. At the same time, questions are being raised about the effectiveness of psychological treatment pro...
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Full-text available
Background: iGlebe is a fully automated internet treatment program for adults who stutter that has been shown, in some cases, to reduce anxiety and effectively manage social anxiety disorder for many participants. No such automated internet treatment program exists for adolescents who stutter. Aims: The present paper reports a Phase I trial of a...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose iGlebe is an individualized, fully automated Internet cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) treatment program that requires no clinician contact. Phase I and II trials have demonstrated that it may be efficacious for treating the social anxiety commonly associated with stuttering. The present trial sought to establish whether the outcomes achiev...
Article
Purpose: To compare two experimental Westmead Program treatments with a control Lidcombe Program treatment for early stuttering. Method: The design was a three-arm randomized controlled trial with blinded outcome assessments 9 months post-randomization. Participants were 91 pre-school children. Results: There was no evidence of difference in p...
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Purpose The Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials (CONSORT) statement strongly suggests one primary outcome for clinical trials, yet the outcomes of stuttering treatments span numerous behavioral and psychosocial domains. That presents a roadblock to eventual meta-analysis of clinical trials for adults who stutter. Method We propose a simple...
Article
Several treatment approaches are available for adults who stutter, including speech treatment, cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) treatment for anxiety, and a combination of both. It is useful to determine whether any differences exist between adults who stutter enrolled in different types of treatment. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to co...
Article
Purpose: This report investigates whether parent-reported stuttering severity ratings (SRs) provide similar estimates of effect size as percentage of syllables stuttered (%SS) for randomized trials of early stuttering treatment with preschool children. Method: Data sets from 3 randomized controlled trials of an early stuttering intervention were...
Article
Purpose: Social anxiety disorder is a debilitating anxiety disorder associated with significant life impairment. The purpose of the present study is to evaluate overall functioning for adults who stutter with and without a diagnosis of social anxiety disorder. Method: Participants were 275 adults who stuttered (18-80 years), including 219 males...
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Full-text available
Purpose: Those who are socially anxious may use safety behaviors during feared social interactions to prevent negative outcomes. Safety behaviors are associated with anxiety maintenance and poorer treatment outcomes because they prevent fear extinction. Social anxiety disorder is often comorbid with stuttering. Speech pathologists reported in a re...
Article
Purpose: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the relationship between stuttering severity, psychological functioning, and overall impact of stuttering, in a large sample of adolescents who stutter. Method: Participants were 102 adolescents (11-17 years) seeking speech treatment for stuttering, including 86 boys and 16 girls, classified int...
Article
Purpose: Stuttering during adulthood is associated with a heightened rate of anxiety disorders, especially social anxiety disorder. Given the early onset of both anxiety and stuttering, this comorbidity could be present among stuttering children. Method: Participants were 75 stuttering children 7-12 years and 150 matched non-stuttering control c...
Article
Death anxiety is a basic fear underlying a range of psychological conditions, and has been found to increase avoidance in social anxiety. Given that attentional bias is a core feature of social anxiety, the aim of the present study was to examine the impact of mortality salience (MS) on attentional bias in social anxiety. Participants were 36 socia...
Article
Death anxiety is considered to be a basic fear that may underpin a range of psychiatric conditions. The present paper proposes that the dread of death is a central driver of most presentations of obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD). Compulsive washers often identify chronic or fatal diseases, such as HIV, as being associated with their anxiety, and...
Article
Death anxiety is considered to be a basic fear underlying the development and maintenance of numerous psychological conditions. Treatment of transdiagnostic constructs, such as death anxiety, may increase treatment efficacy across a range of disorders. Therefore, the purpose of the present review is to: (1) examine the role of Terror Management The...
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Full-text available
Purpose Social anxiety is common for those who stutter and efficacious Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) for them appears viable. However, there are difficulties with provision of CBT services for anxiety among those who stutter. Standalone Internet CBT treatment is a potential solution to those problems. CBTpsych is a fully automated, online social...
Article
Standard psychological treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) typically involves the behavioural-based therapy exposure and response prevention (ERP). This study compared the effectiveness of ERP with the recently developed cognitive therapy-based treatment package, Danger Ideation Reduction Therapy for obsessive-compulsive checkers (DIRT...
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Purpose The purpose of this study was to evaluate anxiety and psychological functioning among adolescents seeking speech therapy for stuttering using a structured, diagnostic interview and psychological questionnaires. This study also sought to determine whether any differences in psychological status were evident between younger and older adolesce...
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Full-text available
Purpose: Adults who stutter are at significant risk of developing social phobia. Cognitive theorists argue that a critical factor maintaining social anxiety is avoidance of social information. This avoidance may impair access to positive feedback from social encounters that could disconfirm fears and negative beliefs. Adults who stutter are known...
Article
To investigate whether climate change has impacted on the nature of the obsessions or compulsions experienced by patients with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). The sample comprised 50 patients with OCD checking subtype who had presented at the Anxiety Disorders Clinic at The University of Sydney seeking treatment during the period March 2008 to...
Article
The relationship between anxiety and stuttering has been widely studied. However, a review conducted more than 10 years ago (Menzies, Onslow, & Packman, 1999) identified 5 methodological issues thought to preclude consistent research findings regarding the nature of this relationship. The purpose of the present review was to determine whether metho...
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Full-text available
Data collected from clinical populations indicate that magical ideation (MI) may play a causal or a mediating role in the expression of obsessive compulsive symptoms. If this is the case then when targeted in treatment, symptoms of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) should be altered. Two individuals diagnosed with OCD received a trial treatment t...
Article
Danger Ideation Reduction Therapy (DIRT) is a cognitive treatment package developed in the mid-1990s to treat obsessive-compulsive (OC) washing. DIRT is solely directed at decreasing threat expectancies and does not involve direct or indirect exposure. The effectiveness of the DIRT package for OC washers has been examined, and to date a number of p...
Article
Stuttering has been associated with a range of anxiety disorders, including social phobia. In the general community, anxiety disorders are frequently associated with increased rates of mood and substance use disorders. Therefore, in the present study, the authors sought to determine the rate of mood and substance use disorders among adults who stut...
Article
Unlabelled: Previous research has not explored the Five Factor Model of personality among adults who stutter. Therefore, the present study investigated the five personality domains of Neuroticism, Extraversion, Openness, Agreeableness and Conscientiousness, as measured by the NEO Five Factor Inventory (NEO-FFI), in a sample of 93 adults seeking sp...
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Full-text available
Reviews have demonstrated large effect sizes when using computerised cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) protocols for treating anxiety, depression and health related concerns. However, the amount of therapist contact per user seems to be the most significant prognostic indicator. Thus, in some ways current online interventions can be viewed primaril...
Article
Unlabelled: This paper explores the relationships between anxiety and stuttering and provides an overview of cognitive-behavior therapy (CBT) strategies that can be applied by speech-language pathologists. There is much support for the idea that adults who stutter (AWS) may need CBT. First, approximately 50% of AWS may be suffering from social anx...
Article
Unlabelled: Stuttering is frequently associated with negative consequences which typically begin in early childhood. Despite this, no previous studies have investigated the presence of personality disorders among adults who stutter. Therefore, the aims of the present study were to screen for personality disorders among adults who stutter, and to c...
Article
The present study explored the prevalence of anxiety disorders among adults seeking speech therapy for stuttering. Employing a matched case-control design, participants included 92 adults seeking treatment for stuttering, and 920 age- and gender-matched controls from the Australian National Survey of Mental Health and Well-being. A conditional logi...
Article
Unlabelled: The ability to reduce stuttering in everyday speaking situations is the core component of the management plan of many who stutter. However, the ability to maintain the benefits of speech-restructuring treatment is known to be compromised, with only around a third of clients achieving this [Craig, A. R., & Hancock, K. (1995). Self-repor...
Article
This study examined responsiveness of the dot probe measure of attentional bias to standard cognitive-behaviour group therapy (CBGT) for social phobia. People who met criteria for social phobia were randomly allocated to either an immediate treatment condition or a waiting list control (WLC). All participants completed self-report measures of socia...
Article
The present study investigated whether MI is a mechanism for change in the treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). The Magical Ideation scale (MI), the Obsessive-Compulsive Inventory-Short Version (OCI-SV) and the Padua Inventory were completed by 34 obsessive-compulsive patients pre- and post cognitive-behavioural treatment. Treatment di...
Article
The aims of the present study were to (a) examine the rate of social phobia among adults who stutter, (b) study the effects of speech restructuring treatment on social anxiety, and (c) study the effects on anxiety and stuttering of a cognitive-behavior therapy (CBT) package for social anxiety. Thirty-two adults with chronic stuttering were randomly...
Article
Prior to CBT treatment, nineteen obsessive–compulsive washers were administered Jones and Menzies's (1998a) obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD) Origins Questionnaire (OOQ) in an attempt to examine the relevance of associative learning pathways in the aetiology of the disorder. The open-ended nature of the questions allows for the distinction betwee...
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Full-text available
Thought–action fusion (TAF), a belief that one's thoughts can either increase the likelihood of a given event or imply the immorality of one's character, is associated with a range of disorders, but has not yet been investigated in relation to psychosis. We sought to determine whether TAF beliefs are endorsed by individuals with chronic schizophren...
Article
Magical Ideation was examined in 71 individuals across four groups matched, where possible, for gender and age. These groups were: (1) Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) patients with cleaning compulsions (n = 11); (2) OCD patients with checking compulsions (n = 20); (3) panic disorder patients with minimal obsessive compulsive symptoms (n = 19);...
Article
Cognitive variables hypothesised to be mediating obsessive—compulsive behaviour include an overestimation of the probability and consequences of danger, a sense of overinflated personal responsibility for harm to oneself or others, a belief in the overimportance of thoughts, a lack of confidence in memory, an intolerance of uncertainty and a need t...
Article
The present study involved the random allocation of 22 obsessive-compulsive (OC) washer/cleaners to one of two treatment conditions: Danger Ideation Reduction Therapy (DIRT), or Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP). Participants received 12 1-hour individual clinical sessions and were assessed at pretreatment, posttreatment and at a 6-month follo...
Article
Two research groups have raised the possibility that magical ideation may be a fundamental feature of obsessive-compulsive disorder. It has been proposed to underlie thought action fusion and superstitious beliefs. In this study, the Magical Ideation scale, the Lucky Behaviours and Lucky Beliefs scales, the Thought Action Fusion-Revised scale, the...
Article
This paper describes the first trial of danger ideation reduction therapy (DIRT) in an adolescent patient with severe, treatment resistant obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). This case study also represents the first published data on DIRT for any individual outside the Anxiety Disorders Clinic at the University of Sydney, where the treatment pack...
Article
Conflicting findings concerning the nature and presence of attentional bias in social anxiety and social phobia have been reported in the literature. This paper reports the findings of two studies comparing people with high and low social anxiety on dot probe tasks using words, faces photographed in front view, and faces photographed in profile as...
Article
This study evaluated a brief screening instrument for predicting psychological distress in patients undertaking magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans. The scale is adapted from Wolpe and Lang's (1964) Fear Survey Schedule (FSS; see Lukins, Davan, & Drummond, 1997). Noise and/or confinement were identified as the most unpleasant feature of the MRI...
Article
Thought action fusion (TAF) is an important presenting feature of many individuals with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). "Magical thinking" is a similar construct (developed within the literature on schizotypy) that may provide a more accurate depiction of difficulties encountered by individuals with OCD. This study seeks to examine relationshi...
Article
This study investigated the long-term efficacy of three 45-minute sessions of live graded exposure, computer-aided vicarious exposure, or progressive muscle relaxation placebo for the treatment of spider phobia, and is a follow-up of the results previously reported by Gilroy, Kirkby, Daniels, Menzies, and Montgomery (2000). Forty-two out of 45 part...
Article
It is well established that many patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder have covert, or internal, compulsions. Empirical studies of this phenomenon, however, are limited. The present study followed the paradigm developed by Rachman and his colleagues for the study of overt compulsions. Patients with urges to carry out covert compulsions underw...
Article
Forty-five participants diagnosed with specific phobia (spiders) gave ratings of subjective anxiety, self-efficacy and the probability of being bitten or injured by a spider while completing a behavioural avoidance test involving exposure to a live spider. Testing was performed before and after treatment and at a 3-month follow-up. Results indicate...
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The potential roles of perceived danger, responsibility, thought-action fusion, confidence in memory, intolerance of uncertainty and need to control one's thoughts in mediating compulsive checking were examined. Belief ratings were obtained from 21 individuals with compulsive checking concerns and 21 nonclinical controls about the most prominent ch...
Article
It is axiomatic that the capacity to experience fear is adaptive, enabling rapid and energetic response to imminent threat or danger. Despite the generally accepted utility of functional fear, the nature of maladaptive fear remains controversial. There is still no consensus about how specific fears and phobias are acquired and modulated. Two major...
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Alleged differences between associative and non-associative perspectives are sometimes more apparent than real. The non-associative model describes a pathway to fear that is complementary to associative pathways. It does not seek to usurp conditioning models as applied to evolutionary-neutral fear. We discuss vexing definitional issues surrounding...
Article
A longitudinal examination of the relation between separation experiences and the development of separation anxiety at age 3, 11 and 18 years was conducted. Three associative pathways (Rachman, S.J. (1978). Fear and courage. San Francisco: W.H. Freeman) were assessed. Conditioning events were not related to separation anxiety at age 3. Vicarious le...
Article
Five intractable cases of obsessive–compulsive disorder were treated with the Danger Ideation Reduction Therapy (DIRT) program. All five cases: (1) had displayed excessive washing/cleaning behaviour for at least 10 years; (2) had failed to respond to a minimum of two separate, 12-week drug trials with serotonergic agents; (3) failed to respond to a...
Article
The efficacy of prolonged single sessions of live graded exposure (LGE) and computer-aided vicarious exposure (CAVE) for spider phobia was examined in a single-blind, controlled trial. Forty participants diagnosed with specific phobia (spiders) received a prolonged single-session treatment of either therapist-aided LGE comprising exposure only or C...
Article
The efficacy of computer-aided vicarious exposure (CAVE) for the treatment of spider phobia in children was evaluated in a single blind, randomised, controlled trial. Twenty-eight participants, aged 10–17 years, received three 45-min sessions of either Live graded exposure (LGE), CAVE or were assigned to a Waitlist. Phobic symptomatology was measur...
Article
The present research sought to establish a reliable and valid instrument for assessing the relevance of neoconditioning factors (e.g. latent inhibition, UCS inflation/revaluation, prior fear levels, prior expectancies of harm, fear and pain levels experienced during supposed learning events), in the development of human fear. Fifty-four undergradua...
Article
This study examined the usefulness of a score derived from nine items of Wolpe and Lang’s (1964) Fear Survey Schedule (FSS) in predicting the number of symptoms consistent with panic reported by a large outpatient sample undertaking magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans. The items were those identified by Lukins, Davan, and Drummond (1997) as like...
Article
The non-associative, Darwinian theory of fear acquisition proposes that some individuals fail to overcome biologically-relevant fears (e.g. height) because they (1) do not have sufficient safe exposure to the relevant stimuli early in life or (2) are poor habituators who have difficulty ‘learning not to fear’. These two hypotheses were tested in a...
Article
Stuttering is a common speech disorder that causes significant distress and may cause social maladjustment and hinder occupational potential. Treatments for chronic stuttering in adults can control stuttering by teaching the speaker to use a newspeech pattern. However, these treatments are resource intensive and relapse prone, and they produce spee...
Article
The Lidcombe Program is a well-researched behavioural treatment for stuttering in young children in which parents praise their child's fluent speech and occasionally correct stuttering in the child's everyday environment. One of the important features of the Lidcombe Program is that the treatment is delivered where the problem occurs – in everyday...