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Personal Narratives: Cultural Differences and Clinical Implications

Bliss, Lynn S. PhD; McCabe, Allyssa PhD

Topics in Language Disorders:
doi: 10.1097/01.TLD.0000318936.31677.2d
Article
Abstract

Narrative production, especially personal narrative discourse, is a critical aspect of communicative competence. It is important for children in relating to peers and adults, acquiring literacy, receiving medical care, or testifying in legal situations. This article focuses on personal narratives, including their structure, development, and impairments. The Narrative Assessment Profile and high-point analysis are described to show how personal narratives can be assessed and how cultural differences can be contrasted from discourse impairments. The aim of these analyses is to show how misdiagnosis of cultural difference deficits can be prevented and how mistaking deficits in narrative production for cultural differences can be avoided. Implications for intervention are also presented.

Author Information

From the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, 110 Clinical Research Center, University of Houston, Houston, Tex (Dr Bliss); and the University of Massachusetts, Lowell (Dr McCabe).

Corresponding author: Lynn S. Bliss, PhD, Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, 110 Clinical Research Center, University of Houston, Houston, TX 77204 (e-mail lbliss@uh.edu).

The authors thanks Tempii Champion, Nancy Maheca, and Masahiko Minami for their contribution of some of the personal narrative samples used in this article.

© 2008 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins