The statistical characteristics of spatial fluctuations of the intensity of dispersed laser beams are studied theoretically. The density of the probability distribution for the intensity is found and its transformation with a change in the longitudinal coordinate is studied. It is shown that a decrease in the intensity fluctuations and a drop in the contrast of the beam speckle structure occur with increasing distance from the initial plane in which the spatially inhomogeneous broadband field is assumed to be spatially coherent. A decrease in fluctuations is accompanied by an increase in the size of speckles in the direction of dispersion, as well as along the beam axis. An interpretation of the found regularities is given.© (2010) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.