Send to

Choose Destination
J Commun Disord. 2005 Nov-Dec;38(6):431-44. Epub 2005 Apr 26.

CIU and main event analyses of the structured discourse of older and younger adults.

Author information

The University of Kentucky, Division of Communication Disorders, CHS Building, Lexington, 40536-0200, USA.


Correct information unit (CIU) and main event analyses are quantitative measures for analyzing discourse of individuals with aphasia. Comparative data from healthy younger (YG) and older (OD) adults and an investigation of the influence of stimuli type would considerably extend the usefulness of such analyses. The objectives were (a) to compare discourse ability of younger and older healthy adults, and (b) to investigate influence of stimuli type on performance. Seventeen younger and 17 older healthy adults participated. Language samples obtained were analyzed for CIU and proportion of main events. Results indicated the YG group produced more accurate, relevant, and informative content than the OD group, and participants expressed more main events in response to sequential picture stimuli, regardless of age. We conclude that clinicians should consider stimuli type when measuring discourse ability. Age should also be considered when comparing performance of adults with brain damage to that of healthy adults.


The reader will be able to: (a) recognize the importance of obtaining information about discourse performance in both older and younger healthy adults; (b) identify the purposes of CIU analysis and main event analysis for examining discourse; and (c) appreciate the potential influences of different language elicitation procedures on the discourse obtained from a task.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center