Children’s narrative story stem responses

Contributions of executive functioning and language proficiency to relationship representations

Jennifer Dealy, Hannah Beth Mudrick, Jo Ann Robinson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Story stem narrative tasks provide insight into young children's inner experiences. Little research has investigated how developmental capacities impact narrative content and process. This study evaluates the influence of executive functioning (EF) and language ability on children's narratives. Data were gathered from 210 low-income children. EF and language ability were assessed at age 4 and EF was assessed at age 6 via direct examination, cognitive-motor tasks, and examiner ratings. Children's responses to eight story stems were gathered at age 6; three latent narrative variables were constructed (Prosocial, Aggressive/Conflict, and Avoidance/Danger), and Narrative Coherence was rated. Results of longitudinal path analyses in structural equation modeling demonstrated age 4 EF significantly predicted all narrative outcomes. Language ability independently predicted Prosocial and Narrative Coherence, and had an influence on Aggression/Conflict when modeled with EF. Age 6 EF mediated the relationship between age 4 EF and narrative outcomes. Findings provide insight into developmental abilities that influence on children's narrative responses to challenging interpersonal scenarios. Future research should study parent–child relations, EF, and language abilities simultaneously.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)168-185
Number of pages18
JournalSocial Development
Volume28
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2019

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Aptitude
Language
narrative
language
ability
Aggression
examiner
aggression
Research
low income
rating
scenario
examination

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

Cite this

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title = "Children’s narrative story stem responses: Contributions of executive functioning and language proficiency to relationship representations",
abstract = "Story stem narrative tasks provide insight into young children's inner experiences. Little research has investigated how developmental capacities impact narrative content and process. This study evaluates the influence of executive functioning (EF) and language ability on children's narratives. Data were gathered from 210 low-income children. EF and language ability were assessed at age 4 and EF was assessed at age 6 via direct examination, cognitive-motor tasks, and examiner ratings. Children's responses to eight story stems were gathered at age 6; three latent narrative variables were constructed (Prosocial, Aggressive/Conflict, and Avoidance/Danger), and Narrative Coherence was rated. Results of longitudinal path analyses in structural equation modeling demonstrated age 4 EF significantly predicted all narrative outcomes. Language ability independently predicted Prosocial and Narrative Coherence, and had an influence on Aggression/Conflict when modeled with EF. Age 6 EF mediated the relationship between age 4 EF and narrative outcomes. Findings provide insight into developmental abilities that influence on children's narrative responses to challenging interpersonal scenarios. Future research should study parent–child relations, EF, and language abilities simultaneously.",
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Children’s narrative story stem responses : Contributions of executive functioning and language proficiency to relationship representations. / Dealy, Jennifer; Mudrick, Hannah Beth; Robinson, Jo Ann.

In: Social Development, Vol. 28, No. 1, 01.02.2019, p. 168-185.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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