NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ909095
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Oct
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-1092-4388
Comprehension of Inferences in Discourse Processing by Adolescents with and without Language Impairment
Karasinski, Courtney; Ellis Weismer, Susan
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, v53 n5 p1268-1279 Oct 2010
Purpose: This study investigated inference construction within spoken narratives in adolescents with varying cognitive and language abilities, using W. Kintsch's (1988) construction-integration model as a framework. The role of working memory in inference construction was examined along with language and nonverbal cognition. Method: Participants were 527 eighth-grade students in 4 diagnostic groups: normal language (NL), low cognitive (LC), specific language impairment (SLI), and nonspecific language impairment (NLI). Participants answered premise and inference questions based on adjacent and distant information. Results: Distant inferences were significantly more difficult than were adjacent inferences. When controlling for premise accuracy, the NL group performed significantly better than each of the other groups on distant inferences. The LC group demonstrated significantly higher accuracy on distant inferences than did the NLI group. Regression analyses revealed that performance on a verbal working memory measure predicted unique variance in distant inference accuracy beyond that accounted for by measures of language and nonverbal cognition. Conclusions: Understanding implicit information, particularly when linking distant information, is difficult for adolescents who are deficient in language comprehension, verbal working memory skills, and/or general world knowledge.
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). 10801 Rockville Pike, Rockville, MD 20852. Tel: 800-638-8255; Fax: 301-571-0457; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Grade 8
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A