Structural Development of the Fictional Narratives of African American Preschoolers Purpose This study examined the structural development of African American preschoolers' narratives. It also investigated the effect of background variables (e.g., gender, maternal education, stimulation and responsiveness of the home environment, and whether or not the child lived in poverty) on the children’s narratives. Method Sixty-five children completed ... Research Article
Research Article  |   July 01, 2006
Structural Development of the Fictional Narratives of African American Preschoolers
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Johanna R. Price
    Frank Porter Graham Child Development InstituteUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Joanne E. Roberts
    Frank Porter Graham Child Development InstituteUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Sandra C. Jackson
    North Carolina Central University, Durham
  • Contact author: Johanna R. Price, Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 105 Smith Level Rd. CB#8180, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-8180. E-mail: price@mail.fpg.unc
Article Information
Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / Research Articles
Research Article   |   July 01, 2006
Structural Development of the Fictional Narratives of African American Preschoolers
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, July 2006, Vol. 37, 178-190. doi:10.1044/0161-1461(2006/020)
History: Received November 23, 2004 , Accepted October 12, 2005
 
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, July 2006, Vol. 37, 178-190. doi:10.1044/0161-1461(2006/020)
History: Received November 23, 2004; Accepted October 12, 2005
Web of Science® Times Cited: 20

Purpose This study examined the structural development of African American preschoolers' narratives. It also investigated the effect of background variables (e.g., gender, maternal education, stimulation and responsiveness of the home environment, and whether or not the child lived in poverty) on the children’s narratives.

Method Sixty-five children completed a story-retelling task at age 4 and again at kindergarten entry. Narratives were then coded for story grammar elements.

Results Four-year-olds narrated some attempts to solve the problem and some elements of the story ending. At kindergarten entry, children had higher total narrative scores and included more of every type of story grammar element except relationship. Overall, narratives were not related to background variables.

Clinical Implications The Bus Story Language Test (C. Renfrew, 1991) appears to be an assessment tool that is sensitive to structural growth in African American children’s narratives from 4 years to kindergarten entry.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
This research was supported in part by the National Institutes of Health (NIDCD 01 R01-CD03817; NICHD T32-HD40127), Maternal and Child Health Program (MCJ-370599, MCJ-370649, 5 R40 MC 00145 Title V, Social Security Act), Health Resources and Services Administration, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services (H-029-D60041), U.S. Department of Education. The authors wish to thank the children and parents for their participation in this project, Susan Zeisel for coordinating the data collection, and Mandy Lamoreaux for her suggestions regarding data coding. We also thank Peg Burchinal, Michelle Poe, Lauren Nelson, and Eloise Neebe for their assistance with the data analysis, as well as Julie Masterson for her comments on an earlier version of this paper.
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