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Impact of Manipulating Task Instructions on Narrative Discourse Performance

Harris Wright, Heather and Capilouto, Gilson and Carrico, Jillian and Siever, Camilya
Impact of Manipulating Task Instructions on Narrative Discourse Performance . In Clinical Aphasiology Conference: Clinical Aphasiology Conference (2006 : 36th : Ghent, Belgium : May 29-June 2, 2006) / : (2006).

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Abstract

Quantitative measures of structured discourse skills of adults with aphasia can be valuable in documenting evidenced-based practice. A number of researchers have shown that measures such as Yorkston and Beukelman’s (1980) content unit analysis and Nicholas and Brookshire’s (1993) correct information unit (CIU) analysis are helpful in monitoring changes in the connected speech of individuals with aphasia (Craig et al., 1993; Nicholas & Brookshire, 1993; Yorkston & Beukelman, 1980). Moreover, researchers suggest that any comprehensive assessment of structured discourse should also include a measure of the ability to relay main events (Capilouto, Wright & Cranfill, 2003; Nicholas & Brookshire, 1995).
van Dijk and Kintsch (1983) have suggested that one way speakers establish main ideas in conversation is by communicating the relations and causal links among units of information. Wright, Capilouto, Wagovich, Cranfill, and Davis (2005) developed a main event measure designed to focus on an individual’s ability to convey the relationships and causal connections between ideas in narrative discourse. Results of previous investigations have demonstrated that individuals without aphasia conveyed a higher proportion of main events than adults with aphasia (Capilouto, Wright, & Wagovich, 2005a). Further, findings indicated that participants, regardless of age or presence of aphasia, communicated a greater proportion of relationships between characters, actions, and ideas in response to sequential versus single pictures, but neurologically intact participants did not perform at or near ceiling level on the measure (Capilouto, Wright, & Wagovich, in press, 2005; Wright et al., 2005). Task instructions in the previous investigations requested participants to “tell what was going on in the picture(s)”. Olness (2005) suggested that instructions specifically requesting a beginning, middle, and end might yield qualitatively and quantitatively different narratives. The purpose of the present investigation, then, is two-fold. First, we compared the performance of two groups of healthy older adults on the ability to convey main events in pictured stimuli when two different task instructions were provided. Healthy older adults were used in this initial investigation to determine the impact of altered directions on discourse samples of speakers without specific language deficits. In doing so, the intent is to provide normative data on a measure of discourse, with different task instructions, that can then be used as a reference for evaluating the discourse abilities of adult clinical populations. Second, we established session-to-session reliability of the main event measure using the different task instructions.

EPrint Type:Clinical Aphasiology Paper
Subjects:UNSPECIFIED
ID Code:2015
Conference:Clinical Aphasiology Conference: Clinical Aphasiology Conference (2006 : 36th : Ghent, Belgium : May 29-June 2, 2006)
Additional Information:USED WITH PERMISSION.