In the film The King’s Speech, King George VI’s stuttering is presented as stemming from a traumatic childhood, including a bullying older sibling, an unkind father, and an abusive caretaker.
We now know that this view is scientifically unsound. Researchers like Soo-Eun Chang, of Michigan State University, have successfully used imaging techniques to pinpoint areas of the brain involved in stuttering in adults, and are now looking into children who stutter—and children who have naturally recovered from stuttering, as occurs in up to 80 percent of cases.
To find out what research indicates so far, check out Dr. Chang’s article for Cerebrum, "Using Brain Imaging to Unravel the Mysteries of Stuttering." In it, she describes recent findings that support the idea that early intervention can alter or normalize brain function before stuttering-induced changes become hardwired.