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Background: The majority of children born preterm are considered neurologically normal and free of disability. However, follow-up studies at school age report that preterm children born without major impairment have more subtle impairments, including language difficulties, which influence their ability to function. These findings indicate a need to examine specific language-processing skills in children born preterm across the school years. Aims: To compare oral narrative skills of children born preterm with their peers born at full term. Methods & Procedures: The research used an independent groups design to examine the narrative ability of 30 children aged between 9 years; 8 months and 10 years; 11 months: 15 children born before 33 weeks’ gestation (preterm group) and 15 children matched for chronological age born at full gestation (greater than 38 weeks). Seven measures assessed productivity, structure, complexity, and formulation abilities. The research used univariate analysis to examine variations in outcomes based on group status (preterm versus full term). Outcomes & Results: The results showed group effects on the formulation measures but not the productivity, complexity or quality measures. Children born preterm produced more utterances with mazes and had more disruptions than children born at full term. The children born preterm demonstrated difficulties formulating a narrative even though they produced a similar amount and used similar structural aspects to their peers born full term. Conclusions & Implications: Children born preterm show subtle and specific li


School of Allied Health

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Journal Article

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