Age-Related Progressions in Story Structure in Young Children's Narratives Purpose Prior theoretical and empirical work has referenced several broad stages of narrative development, particularly in terms of young children's understanding of story structure. However, there is considerable variation in how story structure has been defined and assessed across these studies. The aims of the present study were threefold: (a) ... Research Article
Research Article  |   December 01, 2016
Age-Related Progressions in Story Structure in Young Children's Narratives
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Kiren S. Khan
    Crane Center for Early Childhood Research and Policy, The Ohio State University, Columbus
  • Mihaiela R. Gugiu
    Crane Center for Early Childhood Research and Policy, The Ohio State University, Columbus
  • Laura M. Justice
    Crane Center for Early Childhood Research and Policy, The Ohio State University, Columbus
    Department of Teaching and Learning, The Ohio State University, Columbus
  • Ryan P. Bowles
    Michigan State University, East Lansing
  • Lori E. Skibbe
    Michigan State University, East Lansing
  • Shayne B. Piasta
    Crane Center for Early Childhood Research and Policy, The Ohio State University, Columbus
    Department of Teaching and Learning, The Ohio State University, Columbus
  • 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 Kiren S. Khan: khan.518@osu.edu
  • Editor: Rhea Paul
    Editor: Rhea Paul×
  • Associate Editor: Sandra Gillam
    Associate Editor: Sandra Gillam×
Article Information
Development / School-Based Settings / Research Issues, Methods & Evidence-Based Practice / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   December 01, 2016
Age-Related Progressions in Story Structure in Young Children's Narratives
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 2016, Vol. 59, 1395-1408. doi:10.1044/2016_JSLHR-L-15-0275
History: Received August 5, 2015 , Revised January 14, 2016 , Accepted February 11, 2016
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 2016, Vol. 59, 1395-1408. doi:10.1044/2016_JSLHR-L-15-0275
History: Received August 5, 2015; Revised January 14, 2016; Accepted February 11, 2016

Purpose Prior theoretical and empirical work has referenced several broad stages of narrative development, particularly in terms of young children's understanding of story structure. However, there is considerable variation in how story structure has been defined and assessed across these studies. The aims of the present study were threefold: (a) to test the unidimensionality of items designed to assess story-structure knowledge, (b) to examine story-structure item difficulty levels, and (c) to examine age-related progressions on individual story-structure components across 3-, 4-, 5-, and 6-year-olds.

Method Participants included 386 children (M = 4.8 years, SD = 11.67 months) from the Narrative Assessment Protocol study (http://www.narrativeassessment.com/), which was designed to revise a new narrative assessment tool for children between the ages of 3 and 6 years.

Results Factor analysis indicated that 16 of 21 items reflecting story-structure knowledge constituted a unidimensional construct. Individual story-structure item analyses further revealed that establishing subgoals and tracking the overall goals in the stories were particularly challenging for 3- and 4-year-olds.

Conclusion These findings hold implications for refinement of theoretical models of story-structure emergence in early childhood.

Acknowledgments
The research reported here was supported by the Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education, through Grant R305A110293 awarded to Michigan State University (Ryan Bowles, Lori Skibbe) and The Ohio State University (Laura Justice, Shayne Piasta). The opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not represent views of the Institute or the U.S. Department of Education.
Order a Subscription
Pay Per View
Entire Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research content & archive
24-hour access
This Article
24-hour access