The index of narrative microstructure

A clinical tool for analyzing school-age children's narrative performances

Laura M. Justice, Ryan P. Bowles, Joan N. Kaderavek, Teresa A. Ukrainetz, Sarita Eisenberg, Ronald B. Gillam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

97 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Purpose: This research was conducted to develop a clinical tool-the Index of Narrative Microstructure (INMIS)-that would parsimoniously account for important microstructural aspects of narrative production for school-age children. The study provides field test age- and grade-based INMIS values to aid clinicians in making normative judgments about microstructural aspects of pupils' narrative performance. Method: Narrative samples using a single-picture elicitation context were collected from 250 children age 5-12 years and then transcribed and segmented into T-units. A T-unit consists of a single main clause and any dependent constituents. The narrative transcripts were then coded and analyzed to document a comprehensive set of microstructural indices. Results: Factor analysis indicated that narrative microstructure consisted of 2 moderately related factors. The Productivity factor primarily comprised measures of word output, lexical diversity, and T-unit output. The Complexity factor comprised measures of syntactic organization, with mean length of T-units in words and proportion of complex T-units loading most strongly. Principal components analysis was used to provide a linear combination of 8 variables to approximate the 2 factors. Formulas for calculating a student's performance on the 2 factors using 8 narrative measures are provided. Conclusions: This study provided a method for professionals to calculate INMIS scores for narrative Productivity and Complexity for comparison against field test data for age (5- to 12-year-old) or grade (kindergarten to Grade 6) groupings. INMIS scores complement other tools in evaluating a child's narrative performance specifically and language abilities more generally.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)177-191
Number of pages15
JournalAmerican Journal of Speech-Language Pathology
Volume15
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2006

Fingerprint

narrative
school
performance
Efficiency
Aptitude
Pupil
Principal Component Analysis
Statistical Factor Analysis
Language
Students
Research
productivity
kindergarten
grouping
factor analysis
pupil
school grade
organization
ability
language

Keywords

  • Language assessment
  • Narrative assessment
  • Narrative development
  • School-age language

Cite this

Justice, Laura M. ; Bowles, Ryan P. ; Kaderavek, Joan N. ; Ukrainetz, Teresa A. ; Eisenberg, Sarita ; Gillam, Ronald B. / The index of narrative microstructure : A clinical tool for analyzing school-age children's narrative performances. In: American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology. 2006 ; Vol. 15, No. 2. pp. 177-191.
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The index of narrative microstructure : A clinical tool for analyzing school-age children's narrative performances. / Justice, Laura M.; Bowles, Ryan P.; Kaderavek, Joan N.; Ukrainetz, Teresa A.; Eisenberg, Sarita; Gillam, Ronald B.

In: American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, Vol. 15, No. 2, 01.01.2006, p. 177-191.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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