The Index of Narrative Micro-Structure (INMIS): A Clinical Tool for Analyzing School-Age Children’s Narrative Performance.

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American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology





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PURPOSE: This research was conducted to develop a clinical tool—theIndex of Narrative Microstructure (INMIS)—that would parsimoniouslyaccount for important microstructural aspects of narrative productionfor school-age children. The study provides field test age-and grade-based INMIS values to aid clinicians in making normativejudgments about microstructural aspects of pupils' narrativeperformance.

METHOD: Narrative samples using a single-picture elicitation contextwere collected from 250 children age 5–12 years and thentranscribed and segmented into T-units. A T-unit consists ofa single main clause and any dependent constituents. The narrativetranscripts were then coded and analyzed to document a comprehensiveset of microstructural indices.

RESULTS: Factor analysis indicated that narrative microstructure consistedof 2 moderately related factors. The Productivity factor primarilycomprised measures of word output, lexical diversity, and T-unitoutput. The Complexity factor comprised measures of syntacticorganization, with mean length of T-units in words and proportionof complex T-units loading most strongly. Principal componentsanalysis was used to provide a linear combination of 8 variablesto approximate the 2 factors. Formulas for calculating a student'sperformance on the 2 factors using 8 narrative measures areprovided.

CONCLUSIONS: This study provided a method for professionals to calculateINMIS scores for narrative Productivity and Complexity for comparisonagainst field test data for age (5- to 12-year-old) or grade(kindergarten to Grade 6) groupings. INMIS scores complementother tools in evaluating a child's narrative performance specificallyand language abilities more generally.


Published by American Speech-Language-Hearing Association in American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology. Publisher PDF is available through link above. Publisher requires a subscription to access article.