Document Type Master's Dissertation Author Jacoby, Karen Lee firstname.lastname@example.org URN etd-08302010-154018 Document Title Pragmatic language ability in a group of adolescents with traumatic brain injury Degree MCommunication Pathology Department Communication Pathology Supervisor
Advisor Name Title Ms A M Stipinovich Supervisor Keywords
- standardised assessment
- non-standardised assessment
- executive function
- traumatic brain injury
- pragmatic language
- social use of language
Date 2010-04-22 Availability restricted Abstract
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) can result in a wide range of physical, cognitive, perceptual and communication consequences. When the TBI is acquired in childhood or adolescence, not only can existing abilities be affected, but the further development of abilities may be also be disrupted. Therefore the effects of a childhood TBI can reach far into the future.
Pragmatic language refers to the social use of language, and includes the communication behaviours needed to interact effectively with others. The main aim of this study was to describe the pragmatic language abilities of a group of adolescents with TBI. Using a descriptive, retrospective, cross-sectional design, the pragmatic language abilities of a group of five adolescents with TBI were analysed in-depth, in the context of reports of their executive function. A combination of existing and adapted, standardised and non-standardised assessment techniques was used to assess the adolescents, as well as elicit the views of parents and teachers regarding the adolescentsí pragmatic abilities.
The standardised assessment tools revealed pragmatic language deficits for all of the adolescents. The non-standardised assessment tools enhanced the descriptions of the adolescentsí pragmatic abilities, providing additional insights into the adolescentsí difficulties as well as useful starting points for intervention. The pragmatic difficulties were discussed in terms of the executive deficits reported for all the adolescents.
The study strives to broaden the understanding of the effects of pragmatic language deficits on the adolescents and those around them. For adolescents with TBI, detailed descriptions of their pragmatic language abilities can lead to a deeper understanding of both their pragmatic strengths and weaknesses, which in turn can result in more meaningful assessment, more successful intervention, and better outcome measurement.
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Please cite as follows:
Jacoby, KL 2009, Pragmatic language ability in a group of adolescents with traumatic brain injury, MCommunication Pathology dissertation, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, viewed yymmdd < http://upetd.up.ac.za/thesis/available/etd-08302010-154018/ >
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