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Summarization differences for expository discourse in adolescents with TBI (Lundine et al., 2017)

posted on 2017-11-09, 18:15 authored by Jennifer P. Lundine, Stacy M. Harnish, Rebecca J. McCauley, Alexandra B. Zezinka, Deena Schwen Blackett, Robert A. Fox
Purpose: Annually, nearly 700,000 U.S. children and adolescents experience a traumatic brain injury (TBI). Many of them struggle academically, despite failing to qualify for special education services because their cognitive communication impairments are subtle.
Method: In this exploratory study, five adolescents with TBI provided verbal summaries of two expository lectures (compare–contrast, cause–effect) and participated in cognitive and expressive syntax testing. Their performance on these tasks was compared descriptively to that of 50 adolescents with typical development.
Results: For adolescents with TBI, mean summary quality scores for both exposition types were at least 1 SD lower than those of adolescents with typical development and notably 2 SDs below for the cause–effect passage. The adolescents with TBI who had below-average cognitive scores showed better performance on compare–contrast summaries compared to cause–effect, whereas the majority of adolescents with typical development showed the opposite tendency.
Conclusions: These results provide preliminary evidence that students with TBI, particularly those with cognitive deficits, may struggle with expository discourse despite acceptable performance on a measure of expressive syntax. This study also indicates that researchers should explore how students with TBI perform on academically relevant discourse tasks in order to inform future assessment and intervention efforts.

Supplemental Material S1. Comparison of cause–effect and compare–contrast expository discourse samples commonly used measures of length and reading level and Coh-Metrix.

Supplemental Material S2. The five traits comprising the holistic scoring rubric and descriptors for each illustrating the lowest and highest possible point values, as well as scoring examples from summaries produced by 18-year-old female participants in both groups. Summaries from each participant are shared in the article, Figures 1 and 2.

Supplemental Material S3. Expository summaries from the additional four participants with traumatic brain injury (TBI).

Lundine, J. P., Harnish, S. M., McCauley, R. J., Zezinka, A. B., Blackett, D. S., & Fox, R. A. (2017). Exploring summarization differences for two types of expository discourse in adolescents with traumatic brain injury. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 27, 247–257.


This research was supported in part by the Alumni Grant for Graduate Research and Scholarship from The Ohio State University (awarded to Jennifer Lundine).