Measuring goodness of story narratives: Implications for traumatic brain injury

Karen Lê, Carl Coelho, Jennifer Mozeiko, Frank Krueger, Jordan Grafman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Background: This study examined the utility of story "goodness", a measure of organisation and completeness, in quantifying narrative discourse deficits following traumatic brain injury (TBI). In an initial study, the story goodness measure demonstrated sensitivity and reliability in distinguishing individuals who had TBI from those who were non-brain-injured. Aims: The purpose of the current study was to validate previous findings of the story goodness index, specifically in discriminating performance between groups and identifying performance subgroups, in a larger sample of participants with TBI. Methods & Procedures: A total of 46 non-brain-injured adults and 171 adults with TBI participated. Story retellings were analysed for story grammar and story completeness. The two discourse scores were then plotted as coordinates, which allowed for quantification of story goodness. Statistical analyses included a multivariate analysis of variance and calculation of Pearson correlation coefficients for the discourse measures. Outcomes & Results: Results indicated that participants' scores clustered differentially across quadrants between groups and discriminated groups into four distinct categories of story "goodness". Conclusions: Findings paralleled those found in the initial study, suggesting that story goodness is a sensitive measure for examining the discourse of individuals with TBI. The story goodness has potential clinical utility and may have implications for investigation of discourse impairments in other clinical populations and treatment of discourse deficits.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)748-760
Number of pages13
Issue number6-7
StatePublished - Jun 1 2011


  • Discourse analysis
  • Discourse production
  • Narrative discourse
  • Penetrating head injury
  • Story narratives
  • Traumatic brain injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • LPN and LVN


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