Narration and reading comprehension in Swedish children and adolescents with hearing impairment
Sammanfattning: The aim of the present thesis was to explore reading comprehension and narration in children and adolescents with different degrees of hearing impairment (HI). In Study I, reading comprehension was investigated in 16 children with cochlear implants (CI), aged 7-13 years. Over 60% of the investigated children performed at the level of their hearing peers. Reading comprehension was better than expected taking the participants poor phonological skills into consideration. The association between reading comprehension and working memory capacity was robust. Study II was a methodological study, where narrative writing (picture-elicited) was studied using keystroke-logging, which was found to be a valid method for children with typical language developing and NH of 10 years of age and above. The analyses of narratives from 27 children aged 8-12 years, showed several relations between the writing process and the writing product. In Study III, the process and the product in written narration was explored in 18 participants with CI, aged 11-19. When comparing their performance to that of participants with NH, the most prominent difference was that the children and adolescents with CI were less linguistically mature. This was illustrated by a much higher proportion of content words (less function words). Regarding older participants, although they wrote as fast, they used significantly more pause time than participants with NH. In study IV, spoken, as well as written narration was investigated in 20 participants with HI and HA, 10-18 years old. The main finding was that they were less lexically varied than participants with NH. Narration and reading comprehension are important skills for academic success and social inclusion. This thesis clearly indicates that many individuals with HI who are over the age of 10 years clearly lag behind their age peers in complex language activities.
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