Working Memory Constraints on Listening Comprehension in Adolescents with Traumatic Brain Injury
Thesis DisciplineSpeech and Language Therapy
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Speech and Language Therapy
This study investigated the effects of working memory constraints on the comprehension of expository texts by adolescents with severe Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). The performance of adolescents with TBI will be compared against a group of typically developing (TD) gender and age-matched peers. The research questions are: (1) How does the performance of adolescents with TBI compare to typically developing gender and age-matched peers on tasks examining comprehension of expository texts?; and (2) Does comprehension of expository text decrease when working memory constraints are increased for adolescents with TBI? Fifteen participants will participate in the study. One group of five adolescents with severe TBI and a second group of ten gender and age-matched typically developing adolescents without TBI completed a battery of assessments including: Test of Nonverbal Intelligence 3rd Edition (TONI-3), Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamentals 4th Edition (CELF-4), Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test 3rd Edition (PPVT-3) and the Working Memory Span Task (Tompkins et al 1994). All participants also completed an experimental task which involved listening to an expository passage and answering comprehension questions. Scores were then submitted to statistical analysis using ANOVA methodology to determine the significance of any within and between group differences. Results showed that there was no significant group by task interaction effect. The study did show that there was a significant difference between the TBI and TD groups on the measure of working memory.
Results of the study will enhance our understanding of how adolescents with TBI comprehend expository information. This study will also help to create a foundation for further research into this area which is critical for student’s success in secondary education.