Author ORCID Identifier

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Rose A. Sevcik

Second Advisor

MaryAnn Romski

Third Advisor

Robin Morris

Fourth Advisor

Elizabeth Tighe


Narrative language provides unique information about the use of language above and beyond other component language skill measures (e.g., Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamentals, CELF). The use of language as described by Bates (1976) requires integration of social, linguistic, and cognitive abilities. Prior research has theorized that narrative language may influence the relationship between language and reading skills (Snow, 1991, 1993; Westby et al., 1989), but few studies have tested this theory directly. To better understand this relationship, we evaluated the relationship between component language, narrative language, and reading among elementary school children with mild intellectual disability (MID) who participated in a reading intervention. This study aimed to: (1) examine the nature of the constructs narrative and component language skills and determine if they are best defined at a single or two-factor model; (2a) determine if latent factors of reading and/or component language predicted narrative language at post-intervention; (2b) explore if narrative language moderated the relationship between component language and reading abilities at baseline and post-intervention; (3) examine the growth of narrative comprehension, reading, and component language skills over time; and (4) examine the relationship between reading and component language with narrative language comprehension across the intervention. Overall, narrative language was a separate but related skill to component language. No significant effects for narrative language as a moderator between component language and reading were found. However, the models supported that narrative language was significantly correlated with reading across the three time points of the intervention.


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