Cognitive and linguistic correlates of children's discourse after closed head injury: A three-year follow-up
The discourse of 91 children who had sustained severe (n = 68) or mild (n = 23) closed head injury (CHI) was examined at least three years postinjury. The groups' retellings of a narrative story were analyzed according to two domains, information and language. In comparison to the mild CHI group, the severe group produced stories characterized by reduced content and information, impaired organization, fewer words, and less complex sentences. The relationships between discourse production and the groups' performance on measures of language, executive function, memory, and processing speed were examined. Correlations were found between discourse production and general verbal ability including verbal fluency. Correlations were also found for discourse performance and executive function measures associated with problem solving and working memory. Site and extent of lesion were not useful in predicting discourse production. These findings indicate that children who sustain a severe closed head injury during early to middle childhood are at risk for persisting deficits in discourse processing and other cognitive abilities. (JINS, 2000, 6, 741–751)(Received November 2 1998)
(Revised October 22 1999)
(Accepted October 22 1999)
Key Words: Closed head injury; Children; Discourse.
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