Narrative Discourse in Young Children With Histories of Early Corrective Heart Surgery Narrative attainment was assessed in a group of 76 four-year-old children at risk for brain injury because of histories of early corrective heart surgery. Elicited personal experience narratives were coded for narrative components, evaluative devices, and information adequacy and were contrasted with narratives produced by a comparison group of typically ... Research Article
Research Article  |   April 01, 2002
Narrative Discourse in Young Children With Histories of Early Corrective Heart Surgery
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Lowry Hemphill
    Harvard Graduate School of Education Cambridge, MA
  • Paola Uccelli
    Harvard Graduate School of Education Cambridge, MA
  • Kendra Winner
    Harvard Graduate School of Education Cambridge, MA
  • Chien-ju Chang
    Harvard Graduate School of Education Cambridge, MA
  • David Bellinger
    Children's Hospital Boston, MA
  • Contact author: Lowry Hemphill, EdD, Harvard University, 307 Larsen Hall, Cambridge, MA 02138. E-mail: lowry_hemphill@harvard.edu
Article Information
Development / Special Populations / Genetic & Congenital Disorders / School-Based Settings / Normal Language Processing / Language Disorders / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Traumatic Brain Injury / Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   April 01, 2002
Narrative Discourse in Young Children With Histories of Early Corrective Heart Surgery
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 2002, Vol. 45, 318-331. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2002/025)
History: Received March 29, 2001 , Accepted November 29, 2001
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 2002, Vol. 45, 318-331. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2002/025)
History: Received March 29, 2001; Accepted November 29, 2001
Web of Science® Times Cited: 19

Narrative attainment was assessed in a group of 76 four-year-old children at risk for brain injury because of histories of early corrective heart surgery. Elicited personal experience narratives were coded for narrative components, evaluative devices, and information adequacy and were contrasted with narratives produced by a comparison group of typically developing 4-year-olds. The production of autonomous narrative discourse was identified as an area of special vulnerability for children with this medical history. Despite considerable heterogeneity in narrative performance, children with early corrective heart surgery produced fewer narrative components than typically developing children. Results suggest that the elaboration of events and contextual information, the expression of subjective evaluation and causality, and clarity and explicitness of information reporting may constitute special challenges for this population of children. Implications of these findings for clinical assessment and possible risks for socioemotional relationships and academic achievement are discussed.

Acknowledgments
We are grateful to Dr. Jane Newburger for collaborating with us on assessments of the children with early corrective heart surgery and to Allyssa McCabe and Carole Peterson for providing the data from the comparison group. This work was supported by a March of Dimes Foundation Social and Behavioral Sciences Research grant to Lowry Hemphill (grant #12-0329); by a National Institutes of Health grant (grant #HL-41786) to Jane Newburger, Department of Cardiology, Children's Hospital, Boston, MA; and by a General Clinical Research Center grant (grant #MO1 RR02172) from the National Center for Research Resources.
We would like to acknowledge the coding assistance of David Coker, Helen Chen Kingston, Kathleen Peets, and Ingrid Willenberg.
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