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The Index of Narrative Micro-Structure (INMIS): A Clinical Tool for Analyzing School-Age Children’s Narrative Performance.
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology
  • L M Justice
  • R Bowlels
  • J N Kadaravek
  • T A Ukrainetz
  • S L Eisenberg
  • R B Gillam, Utah State University
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PURPOSE: This research was conducted to develop a clinical tool—the Index of Narrative Microstructure (INMIS)—that would parsimoniously account for important microstructural aspects of narrative production for school-age children. The study provides field test age- and grade-based INMIS values to aid clinicians in making normative judgments about microstructural aspects of pupils' narrative performance.

METHOD: Narrative samples using a single-picture elicitation context were collected from 250 children age 5–12 years and then transcribed and segmented into T-units. A T-unit consists of a single main clause and any dependent constituents. The narrative transcripts were then coded and analyzed to document a comprehensive set of microstructural indices.

RESULTS: Factor analysis indicated that narrative microstructure consisted of 2 moderately related factors. The Productivity factor primarily comprised measures of word output, lexical diversity, and T-unit output. The Complexity factor comprised measures of syntactic organization, with mean length of T-units in words and proportion of complex T-units loading most strongly. Principal components analysis was used to provide a linear combination of 8 variables to approximate the 2 factors. Formulas for calculating a student's performance on the 2 factors using 8 narrative measures are provided.

CONCLUSIONS: This study provided a method for professionals to calculate INMIS scores for narrative Productivity and Complexity for comparison against field test data for age (5- to 12-year-old) or grade (kindergarten to Grade 6) groupings. INMIS scores complement other tools in evaluating a child's narrative performance specifically and language abilities more generally.


Published by American Speech-Language-Hearing Association in American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology. Publisher PDF is available through link above. Publisher requires a subscription to access article.

Citation Information
Justice, L.M., Bowlels, R., Kadaravek, J.N., *Ukrainetz, T.A., Eisenberg, S.L., & Gillam, R.B. (2006). The index of narrative micro-structure (INMIS): A clinical tool for analyzing schoolage children’s narrative performance. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 15, (2) 177-191