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Title: Oral discourse : right-brain damage, demographic variables and sampling effects
Author: Sherratt, Susan Mary
ISNI:       0000 0001 3404 4034
Awarding Body: University of London
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2001
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This study aimed to determine the effects of right brain-damage (RBD), demographic variables and sampling techniques on oral discourse performance using a systematic approach based on a multi-layered discourse processing model. In the first stage, the oral discourse of thirty-two neurologically-normal male subjects (in four age and four socioeconomic status categories) was analysed to determine the effect of age and socioeconomic status and of task factors (genre, method of elicitation, topic) on their discourse production. Narrative and procedural discourse was elicited using two methods (oral request and picture-sequences) with a maximum of fourteen samples from each subject. These were analysed in terms of relevance, discourse grammar, syntactic complexity and productivity, clausal structure, cohesion, clarity disrupters and dysfluency (twenty-three measures). The findings were statistically analysed and correlated with three attention tests. The discourse measures were also inter-correlated to observe their interaction. It was found that the demographic and task variables had a substantial and varying effect on the discourse measures. This finding has important implications as results of discourse analyses will be misleading and inconsistent without taking these into account. In the second stage, the discourse production of seven male RBD subjects was examined using eight narrative and procedural tasks evaluated in the first stage as being the most impervious to the effects of age and socio-economic status. Their discourse performance was compared to a matched control group. Due to the heterogeneity of RBD subjects, their discourse was also examined using single-case methodology and three sub-groups were differentiated. In addition, these subjects were assessed on standardised attention, general communication and RBD assessments and the relationships between these and the discourse measures were explored. The impairments which were typical of all RBD subjects and characteristic of each sub-group were explained in terms of a multi-level discourse processing model. Clinical implications and directions for future research are presented.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Psychology