Comparison of Personal Versus Fictional Narratives of Children With Language Impairment Purpose Personal narratives are common in children’s conversations, recommended as the appropriate genre for early writing by educators, and part of many high-stakes tests, possibly because they tend to be better formed than fictional narratives. However, current practice in the field of speech-language pathology employs fictional narratives in assessment, intervention, ... Research Article
Research Article  |   May 01, 2008
Comparison of Personal Versus Fictional Narratives of Children With Language Impairment
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Allyssa McCabe
    University of Massachusetts, Lowell
  • Lynn Bliss
    University of Houston, Houston, TX
  • Gabriela Barra
    University of Massachusetts, Lowell
  • MariBeth Bennett
    University of Massachusetts, Lowell
  • Contact author: Allyssa McCabe, Department of Psychology, University of Massachusetts Lowell, 870 Broadway Street, Suite 1, Lowell, MA 01854. E-mail: allyssa_mccabe@uml.edu.
Article Information
School-Based Settings / Normal Language Processing / Language Disorders / Research Articles
Research Article   |   May 01, 2008
Comparison of Personal Versus Fictional Narratives of Children With Language Impairment
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, May 2008, Vol. 17, 194-206. doi:10.1044/1058-0360(2008/019)
History: Received January 26, 2007 , Revised May 7, 2007 , Accepted October 4, 2007
 
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, May 2008, Vol. 17, 194-206. doi:10.1044/1058-0360(2008/019)
History: Received January 26, 2007; Revised May 7, 2007; Accepted October 4, 2007
Web of Science® Times Cited: 31

Purpose Personal narratives are common in children’s conversations, recommended as the appropriate genre for early writing by educators, and part of many high-stakes tests, possibly because they tend to be better formed than fictional narratives. However, current practice in the field of speech-language pathology employs fictional narratives in assessment, intervention, and study of children with impaired language development. This article explored performance on personal versus fictional narratives by children with language impairment (LI), hypothesizing that performance on the former would be better and a minimal relationship between performances in the 2 genres.

Method Twenty-seven children age 7;0–9;9 (years;months) with LI orally produced personal and fictional narratives (responses to a wordless picture book). Narratives were analyzed by raters blind to experimental hypotheses using high-point analysis and an analysis derived from scoring of a high-stakes composition for 4th grade.

Results High-point ratings of personal significantly exceeded those of fictional narratives. Disproportionate fictional stories did not meet minimal narrative criteria. However, more personal narratives than would be expected by chance did. The analyses were significantly correlated. Quality of a child’s performance of personal was minimally related to that of fictional narratives.

Conclusions Clinicians may want to consider functional aspects of personal narratives.

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