Narrative Language Sampling in Typical Development: Implications for Clinical Trials Purpose This study examined cross-sectional age-related trajectories of expressive language variables (syntactic complexity, lexical diversity, unintelligibility, dysfluency, and talkativeness) derived from a narrative language sampling procedure. Method Narrative samples were analyzed from 103 typically developing individuals, ages 4–21 years. Results Results showed that this procedure was ... Research Article
Newly Published
Research Article  |   December 07, 2017
Narrative Language Sampling in Typical Development: Implications for Clinical Trials
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Marie Moore Channell
    University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Susan J. Loveall
    University of Mississippi, Oxford
  • Frances A. Conners
    University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa
  • Danielle J. Harvey
    University of California, Davis, MIND Institute, Sacramento
  • Leonard Abbeduto
    University of California, Davis, MIND Institute, Sacramento
  • Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.
    Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication. ×
  • Correspondence to Marie Moore Channell: channell@illinois.edu
  • Editor-in-Chief: Krista Wilkinson
    Editor-in-Chief: Krista Wilkinson×
  • Editor: Carol Miller
    Editor: Carol Miller×
Article Information
Development / Research Issues, Methods & Evidence-Based Practice / Language Disorders / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Newly Published / Research Article
Research Article   |   December 07, 2017
Narrative Language Sampling in Typical Development: Implications for Clinical Trials
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, Newly Published. doi:10.1044/2017_AJSLP-17-0046
History: Received April 12, 2017 , Revised June 29, 2017 , Accepted September 5, 2017
 
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, Newly Published. doi:10.1044/2017_AJSLP-17-0046
History: Received April 12, 2017; Revised June 29, 2017; Accepted September 5, 2017

Purpose This study examined cross-sectional age-related trajectories of expressive language variables (syntactic complexity, lexical diversity, unintelligibility, dysfluency, and talkativeness) derived from a narrative language sampling procedure.

Method Narrative samples were analyzed from 103 typically developing individuals, ages 4–21 years.

Results Results showed that this procedure was effective for the entire age range, with participants producing an utterance on virtually every page of the wordless picture books used to prompt the narrative. Importantly, the cross-sectional trajectories for syntactic complexity and lexical diversity showed age-related increases through the age of 18 years, although measures of other dimensions of language showed different relationships with age.

Conclusions These data inform developmental work and document the extent to which the narrative procedure can be used to characterize expressive language over a wide age range. This procedure has been proposed as an outcome measure for clinical trials and interventions involving individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The present data document the developmental levels for which the procedure and metrics derived are appropriate.

Acknowledgments
This research was supported by NIH grants R01 HD055345 (PI: Conners) and U54HD079125 (PI: Abbeduto). The authors would like to express their gratitude first to the families who participated in this study and also to the numerous staff who helped throughout this project, from recruitment and scheduling to data collection and transcription.
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