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Emerging Procedures in Narrative Assessment: The Index of Narrative Complexity

Petersen, Douglas B. MA, MEd; Gillam, Sandra Laing PhD; Gillam, Ronald B. PhD

doi: 10.1097/01.TLD.0000318933.46925.86

This article summarizes norm-referenced and criterion-referenced measures of narration and introduces a new criterion-referenced narrative scoring system called the Index of Narrative Complexity (INC). The INC was designed to be used as a progress-monitoring tool. A preliminary study of the use of this scoring system is reported that yielded evidence suggesting that the INC can be scored consistently, yields similar scores across five elicitation formats, is sensitive to change after intervention, and correlates highly with the Test of Narrative Language (Gillam & Pearson, 2004). These results support the use of the INC as a clinical tool for evaluating the outcomes of narrative intervention.

From the Department of Communicative Disorders and Deaf Education, Utah State University, Logan.

Corresponding author: Ronald B. Gillam, PhD, Department of Communicative Disorders and Deaf Education, Utah State University, 1000 Old Main Hill, Logan, UT 84321 (e-mail:

The authors thank Chad Bingham for helping design the intervention and for providing therapy. Casey Laing illustrated the wordless picture books and Olivia Petersen designed the icons that were used in intervention. We also thank Laura Hendricks, Kirsten Hoxley, Alyssa Donaldson, Capri Dana, Angie Miles, Amy Montero, and Katherine Christensen, who administered tests, transcribed the stories, and scored them. We specially thank the children who participated in the study and their parents. The last author has a financial interest in the Test of Narrative Language.

© 2008 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins