ABaCo: Assessment Battery for Communication

Sacco, Ph.D Katiuscia and Angeleri, Ph.D. Romina and Colle, Ph.D. Livia and Gabbatore, Ph.D. Ilaria and Bara, Prof. Bruno G. and Bosco, Prof. Francesca M. (2013) ABaCo: Assessment Battery for Communication. [Journal (Paginated)]

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Human communication is one of the most complex social activity: it is a process of meaning construction which cooperatively involves all participants taking part in the interaction. Various clinical conditions may lead to impairments of communicative abilities: developmental disorders (e.g., autism, specific language impairment, Down syndrome), brain pathologies (e.g., closed head injury, right hemisphere damage, aphasia), psychiatric disorders (schizophrenia), disorders of old age (e.g. dementia). The assessment of a patient’s abilities and disabilities is the crucial starting point for planning an efficient rehabilitation path, where residual capacities are strengthen and, whenever possible, impaired components are restored. However, while the phonological, syntactic and semantic components of language can be assessed by numerous tests, instruments for the evaluation of pragmatic aspects of communication are scarce (see Sacco et al., 2008 for a more detailed analysis of the existing instruments for the assessment of communication). The Assessment Battery for Communication (ABaCo) has been created to be a theoretically grounded, wide-range clinical instrument. Its theoretical bases stem from Cognitive Pragmatics theory (Airenti, Bara & Colombetti, 1993; Bara, 2010), a theory of the cognitive processes underlying human communicative exchanges, framed within the inferential model of communication (Grice, 1975) and the speech acts perspective (Austin, 1962; Searle, 1969). The theory has been shown to be able to make predictions on typically developing children (Bucciarelli, Colle & Bara, 2003; Bosco, Bucciarelli & Bara, 2004; 2006; Bosco & Buciarelli, 2008; Bosco, Vallana & Bucciarelli, 2012), atypically developing children (Bara, Bosco & Bucciarelli, 1999; Bara, Bucciarelli & Colle, 2001; De Marco, Colle & Bucciarelli, 2007), patients with traumatic brain injury (Bara, Tirassa & Zettin, 1997; Bara, Cutica & Tirassa, 2001; Angeleri et al., 2008), patients with right and left focal brain lesions (Cutica, Bucciarelli & Bara, 2006), patients with Alzheimer’s disease (Bara, Bucciarelli & Geminiani, 2000) and patients with schizophrenia (Bosco, Bono & Bara, 2012). In this view, communication is the ability to comprehend and produce linguistic and extralinguistic communication acts, accompanied by suitable paralinguistic features, appropriate with respect to discourse and social norms, and fluently integrated within the conversation. The ABaCo assesses each of these components, encompassing the major aspects involved in communication. In this paper, we will briefly describe the features of the battery, and summarize its psychometric properties, providing some suggestions for clinical application.

Item Type:Journal (Paginated)
Subjects:Psychology > Applied Cognitive Psychology
Psychology > Psycholinguistics
ID Code:9724
Deposited By: Bosco, Prof. Francesca M.
Deposited On:21 Feb 2015 14:36
Last Modified:20 Apr 2015 11:42


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