Discourse Macrolevel Processing after Severe Pediatric Traumatic Brain Injury

Sandra Bond Chapman, Garen Sparks, Harvey S. Levin, Maureen Dennis, Caroline Roncadin, Lifang Zhang, James Song

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

69 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to determine if discourse macrolevel processing abilities differed between children with severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) at least 2 years postinjury and typically developing children. Twenty-three children had sustained a severe TBI either before the age of 8 (n = 10) or after the age of 8 (n = 13). The remaining 32 children composed a control group of typically developing peers. The groups' summaries and interpretive lesson statements were analyzed according to reduction and transformation of narrative text information. Compared to the control group, the TBI group condensed the original text information to a similar extent. However, the TBI group produced significantly less transformed information during their summaries, especially those children who sustained early injuries. The TBI and control groups did not significantly differ in their production of interpretive lesson statements. In terms of related skills, discourse macrolevel summarization ability was significantly related to problem solving but not to lexical or sentence level language skills or memory. Children who sustain a severe TBI early in childhood are at an increased risk for persisting deficits in higher level discourse abilities, results that have implications for academic success and therapeutic practices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)37-60
Number of pages24
JournalDevelopmental Neuropsychology
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - 2004
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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