A Comparison of the Oral Narrative Abilities of Underachieving and High-Achieving Gifted Adolescents A Preliminary Investigation Research Article
Research Article  |   July 01, 1998
A Comparison of the Oral Narrative Abilities of Underachieving and High-Achieving Gifted Adolescents
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Phebe Archon Hayes
    The University of Southwestern Louisiana, Department of Communicative Disorders, P.O. Box 43170, Lafayette, LA 70504-3170
  • Janet Norris
    Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge
  • James R. Flaitz
    The University of Southwestern Louisiana, Department of Communicative Disorders, P.O. Box 43170, Lafayette, LA 70504-3170
  • Corresponding author: e-mail: phayes@usl.edu
Article Information
School-Based Settings / Research Issues, Methods & Evidence-Based Practice / Language Disorders / Reading & Writing Disorders / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Research Articles
Research Article   |   July 01, 1998
A Comparison of the Oral Narrative Abilities of Underachieving and High-Achieving Gifted Adolescents
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, July 1998, Vol. 29, 158-171. doi:10.1044/0161-1461.2903.158
History: Received January 6, 1998 , Accepted January 28, 1998
 
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, July 1998, Vol. 29, 158-171. doi:10.1044/0161-1461.2903.158
History: Received January 6, 1998; Accepted January 28, 1998

Few researchers have examined the narrative abilities of underachieving gifted students. This study investigated the ability of eighth-grade underachieving gifted adolescents to spontaneously produce oral narratives by comparing their stories to those that were produced by achieving gifted peers. It was hypothesized that evidence of difficulty generating the stories relative to the macrostructure (organization of ideas across sentences) and the microstructure (organization of ideas within sentences) would be exhibited by the underachieving gifted subjects.

Twenty 13-year-old eighth-graders served as subjects in the present investigation. All were identified as gifted by their local school system and were enrolled in the gifted program at the time of their participation in the study. Ten of the subjects met criteria for the underachieving gifted group and ten met criteria for the achieving gifted group. The stories produced by the underachieving gifted subjects were compared to those produced by their achieving gifted peers for differences in 13 dependent measures of story length, episodic integrity, story grammar components, and sentence complexity.

Differences in the mean number of occurrences of each of the 13 variables were found. The result of the MANOVA revealed that when the 13 dependent variables were considered in combination, the stories told by the underachieving gifted subjects differed significantly from those produced by the achieving gifted subjects at the p < .05 level of significance. Results of the univariate analyses indicated that these differences were not accounted for by any one element of story macrostructure or microstructure, but rather that the stories differed across multiple dimensions, each of which contributed to the overall difference.

The results of this study suggest that the language of underachieving gifted children may differ from that of gifted peers when narrative language is examined. Results are discussed relative to the limitations of the study and implications for future research.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
The first author wishes to thank all the members of her former dissertation committee at Louisiana State University-Baton Rouge, including Jan Norris, Jim Flaitz, Paul Hoffman, F. Neil Mathews, Ray Daniloff, and Bonnie Konopak. Also, gratitude is extended to Diane Whittington and Cheri Haywood Ogle, who conducted reliability measures, and to Jeanette Parker, Jack Damico, and Thomas Rigo for their thoughtful comments during the preparation of this manuscript. Finally, the children who served as subjects in this study, their parents, and the participating school system are gratefully acknowledged.
Order a Subscription
Pay Per View
Entire Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools content & archive
24-hour access
This Article
24-hour access