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Individual differences in narrative production in late childhood: Associations with age and fiction reading experience

Hamilton, Lorna ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0526-8252, O'Halloran, Isabelle and Cutting, Nicola ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3155-9566 (2020) Individual differences in narrative production in late childhood: Associations with age and fiction reading experience. First Language.

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REVISED2 Narrative Production Paper First Language Jul 201 (1).pdf - Accepted Version

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Abstract

Narrative production draws upon linguistic, cognitive and pragmatic skills, and is subject to substantial individual differences. This study aimed to characterise the development of narrative production in late childhood and to assess whether children’s cumulative experience of reading fiction is associated with individual differences in narrative language skills. One hundred and twenty-five nine- to 12-year-old children told a story from a wordless picture book, and their narratives were coded for syntactic, semantic and discourse-pragmatic features. The grammatical complexity and propositional content of children’s narratives increased with age between 9 and 12 years, while narrative cohesion, coherence and use of mental state terms were stable across the age range. Measures of fiction reading experience were positively correlated with several indices of narrative production quality and predicted unique variance in narrative macrostructure after controlling for individual differences in vocabulary knowledge, word reading accuracy and theory of mind. These findings are discussed in terms of the continued importance of “book language” as part of the language input beyond early childhood.

Item Type: Article
Status: Published
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/0142723720946553
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology > BF712-724.85 Developmental psychology
School/Department: School of Education, Language and Psychology
URI: http://ray.yorksj.ac.uk/id/eprint/4627

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