Narrative Discourse in Children With Closed Head Injury, Children With Language Impairment, and Typically Developing Children In this paper, narrative discourse abilities are compared across three groups—children with a moderate to severe closed head injury (CHI), children with language impairment (LI), and a group of typically developing peers— using narrative retells and generation of story morals. Narrative expression is also examined in a subset of the ... Research Article
Research Article  |   May 01, 1997
Narrative Discourse in Children With Closed Head Injury, Children With Language Impairment, and Typically Developing Children
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Sandra Bond Chapman
    Callier Center for Communication Disorders, University of Texas at Dallas
  • Ruth Watkins
    University of Illinois, Champaign, IL
  • Carol Gustafson
    Callier Center for Communication Disorders, University of Texas at Dallas
  • Stefanie Moore
    Callier Center for Communication Disorders, University of Texas at Dallas
  • Harvey S. Levin
    Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX
  • Joseph A. Kufera
    National Study Center for Trauma and EMS, Baltimore, MD
  • Contact author: Sandra Bond Chapman, PhD, Callier Center for Communication Disorders, University of Texas at Dallas, 1966 Inwood Road, Dallas, TX 75235 Email: schapman@utdallas.edu
Article Information
Development / Special Populations / Genetic & Congenital Disorders / School-Based Settings / Language Disorders / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Traumatic Brain Injury / Research Articles
Research Article   |   May 01, 1997
Narrative Discourse in Children With Closed Head Injury, Children With Language Impairment, and Typically Developing Children
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, May 1997, Vol. 6, 66-76. doi:10.1044/1058-0360.0602.66
History: Received July 29, 1996 , Accepted March 13, 1997
 
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, May 1997, Vol. 6, 66-76. doi:10.1044/1058-0360.0602.66
History: Received July 29, 1996; Accepted March 13, 1997

In this paper, narrative discourse abilities are compared across three groups—children with a moderate to severe closed head injury (CHI), children with language impairment (LI), and a group of typically developing peers— using narrative retells and generation of story morals. Narrative expression is also examined in a subset of the CHI group who manifested language problems on structured measures. Narrative retells are analyzed at multiple levels of representation, including language and information measures, using the methods described in the companion paper to this article (Chapman, this issue). The most important finding was the significant impairment on information measures in children with moderate to severe CHI, despite relatively good recovery on language measures. The children with LI performed significantly lower than the typical group on measures of both language (amount and complexity of language) and information structure (amount, preserved semantic meaning, episodic structure), as well as generating abstract story morals. The CHI group showed the greatest variability in performance, with discourse abilities overlapping both the LI and control groups. Additional analyses suggested that a subgroup of children with CHI, those with an associated language impairment, were particularly at risk for deficits on information measures. The utility of discourse tasks for differential diagnosis and treatment is discussed.

Author Note
Research reported in this article was supported by grant NS-21889. The authors gratefully acknowledge the children and families whose commitments made this project possible. We also wish to express our appreciation to Paige Billinger and Stacy Lawyer for help in manuscript preparation.
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