ArticlePDF Available

Perceptual-Motor Function of School-Age Children With Slow Handwriting Speed


Abstract and Figures

This study investigated differences in perceptual-motor measures and sustained attention between children with slow and normal handwriting speed and the relationship between these factors. Thirty-four slow handwriters and 35 normal speed handwriters (7 to 11 years of age) attending elementary schools in Taiwan were given three perceptual-motor tests and a vigilance task to assess sustained attention. Performances on these measures were analyzed using multivariate analysis of variance and regression analyses. A significant difference was found between slow and normal handwriters in upper-limb coordination, visual memory, spatial relation, form constancy, visual sequential memory, figure ground, visual-motor integration, and sustained attention. The three significant predictors of handwriting speed for the slow handwriters were age, visual sequential memory, and visual-motor integration. For the normal speed handwriters, age and upper-limb speed and dexterity were the only two significant predictors. Slow and normal speed handwriters responded to handwriting demands through different perceptual-motor systems. Whereas upper-limb speed and dexterity seems to play an important role in normal speed handwriters, slow handwriters seem to rely more on visually directed processes, including sequence memory and visual-motor integration.
Content may be subject to copyright.
Function of School-Age
Children With Slow
Handwriting Speed
Mei Hui Tseng, ScD, OTR, is Associate Pro f e s s o r, School of
Occupational T h e r a p y, College of Medicine, National Ta i w a n
Un i ve r s i t y, No. 7, Chung-Shan S. Road, Taipei, Taiwan 10016,
Susanna M. K. Chow, BSc, MSc, MA, is Assistant Pro f e s s o r,
De p a rtment of Rehabilitation Sciences, Hong Kong Po l y t e c h n i c
Un i ve r s i t y, Hong Ko n g .
This article was accepted for publication Fe b ru a ry 8, 1999, under the edi -
torship of Elaine Vi s e l t e a r .
Mei Hui Tseng, Susanna M. K. Chow
Key Words: Gross and fine motor skills • psy-
chomotor performance
The American Journal of Occupational Therapy 83
Objectives. This study investigated differences in perceptu-
al-motor measures and sustained attention between chil-
dren with slow and normal handwriting speed and the
relationship between these factors.
Method. Thirty-four slow handwriters and 35 normal
speed handwriters (7 to 11 years of age) attending elemen-
tary schools in Taiwan were given three perceptual-motor
tests and a vigilance task to assess sustained attention.
Performances on these measures were analyzed using multi-
variate analysis of variance and regression analyses.
Results. A significant difference was found between
slow and normal handwriters in upper-limb coordination,
visual memory, spatial relation, form constancy, visual
sequential memory, figure ground, visual-motor integration,
and sustained attention. The three significant predictors of
handwriting speed for the slow handwriters were age, visu-
al sequential memory, and visual-motor integration. For
the normal speed handwriters, age and upper-limb speed
and dexterity were the only two significant predictors.
Conclusions. Slow and normal speed handwriters
responded to handwriting demands through different per-
ceptual-motor systems. Whereas upper-limb speed and dex-
terity seems to play an important role in normal speed
handwriters, slow handwriters seem to rely more on visually
directed processes, including sequence memory and visual-
motor integration.
Tseng, M. H., & Chow, S. M. K. (2000). Pe rceptual-motor func-
tion of school-age children with slow handwriting speed. Am e r i c a n
Jo u rnal of Occupational T h e ra py, 54, 8 3 – 8 8 .
roficiency in handwriting is essential if students are
to accomplish an acceptable amount of work in the
c l a s s room and meet the standards of the teacher and
the curriculum. El e m e n t a ry school children typically spend
up to 50% of the school day engaged in paper-and-pencil
tasks (Mc H ale & Cermak, 1992). Many of these tasks,
including most tests and examination papers, are per-
formed under time constraints (Amundson & Weil, 1996).
Un f o rt u n a t e l y, although a traditional instructional ap-
p r oach is sufficient for many children to become compe-
tent handwriters by 6 or 7 years of age, handwriting diffi-
culties are common among children in both regular and
special education classrooms (Bergman & Mc L a u g h - l i n ,
1988). As a result, remediation of handwriting difficulties
is one of the most important areas of school occupational
t h e r a p y.
Handwriting, howe ve r, is a complex skill. It follows that
b e f o r e more systematic ways of teaching children to write
can be developed, the constellation of skills that are neces-
s a ry for efficient writing will need to be better understood.
Competent handwriting depends on the maturation and
integration of cognitive, visual-perceptual, and fine motor
skills (Maeland, 1992; Rubin & Henderson, 1982; Sov i k ,
1975; Tseng & Mu r r a y, 1994; Weil & Amundson, 1994;
Ziviani, Ha y es, & Chant, 1990). Handwriting re q u i re s
finely graded manipulation of pencils to produce letter
forms, in a fluent and ballistical manner, with a specific ori-
entation and size, in a specific serial ord e r, and in specific
positions on a writing surface (van Galen, 1993). Fu rt h e r,
a c c o r ding to Sovik and Arntzen (1991), fluent writing is
p r oduced by an integrated pattern of coordinated move-
ments subject to visual monitoring and sensorimotor feed-
back. In support of this range of re q u i r ements, visual-motor
integration was found to be the best predictor of legibility
for both American and No rwegian children (Sovik, 1975)
and for a group of Chinese school-age children (Tseng &
Mu r r a y, 1994). Vi s u a l - p e rceptual skills, including visual-
spatial perception, visual size discrimination, visual re t r i e va l
and left–right orientation, enable children to distinguish
visually among graphic forms and to judge their corre c t n e s s
( S ovik, 1975; Thomassen & Teulings, 1983). Fine motor
skills are also essential because accurately formed letters can
only be produced by the proper timing and force control of
c o o r dinated arm, hand, and finger movements (Alston &
Ta y l o r, 1987; Thomassen & Teulings, 1983).
Much can also be inferred from the various ways in
which handwriters do not achieve functional competence.
Handwriting can be deficient either in terms of legibility or
in terms of speed. Common handwriting problems such as
i n c o r rect letter formation, poor alignment, re ve r s a l s ,
u n e ven size of letters, irregular spacing between letters and
w o r ds, and slow motor speed (Alston & Ta y l o r, 1987;
Johnson & Carlisle, 1996) do not necessarily arise fro m
identical underlying mechanisms. Most studies to date,
h owe ve r, have focused primarily on the re l a t i o n s h i p
b e t ween illegibility and various visual-perception skills, fine
motor skills, and visual-motor integration (Alston &
Ta y l o r, 1987; Carlson & Cunningham, 1990; Cornhill &
C a s e - S mith, 1996; Johnson & Carlisle, 1996; Ma e l a n d ,
1992; Tseng & Mu r r a y, 1994). Illegible handwriting also
has been investigated in connection with other functional
deficiencies. For example, Levine, Ob e rklaid, and Me l t ze r
(1981) not only found that 72% of 26 children with
d e v elopmental output failure(low academic work out-
put) had difficulty with fine motor tasks, they further pos-
tulated that these childre ns uncoordinated finger move-
ments and diminished pencil control accounted for their
illegible and/or laborious, hesitant, and slow” (p. 20)
Although slow handwriting speed often affects func-
tional performance because it pre v ents students from meet-
ing the time constraints invo l v ed in schoolwork (Amund-
son & Weil, 1996; Cermak, 1991; Levine et al., 1981;
Ol i ve r, 1990), few investigators have focused on this form
of handwriting deficiency. Previous studies include that of
Berninger and Rutberg (1992), who contended that finger
function is the best predictor of handwriting dysfunction
in that fine motor skill accounted for 52.5% of the va r i a n c e
in handwriting speed. Sovik, Arntzen, and Teulings (1982)
found that poor coordination in the form of poor dissocia-
tion (e.g., exaggerated wrist and thumb movement) was
i n versely correlated with writing speed. Cu r i o u s l y, al-
though Ha n m s t r a - Bletz and Blote (1993) found no re l a-
tionship between slow handwriting and dysgraphia, chil-
d ren with dyslexia we re found to write more slowly than
c h i l d r en without reading disabilities (Ma rt l ew, 1992). T h i s
suggests that visual-perception or cognitive skills might also
affect handwriting speed.
In this article, we attempt to identify more clearly the
factors associated with slow handwriting in the hope that
this may help to elucidate the underlying mechanisms.
Because inadequate attention span also has been clinically
o b s e rved to impair handwriting proficiency (cf. Levine et
al., 1981, who found that 60% of their 26 low - p ro d u c t i v -
ity subjects also had serious difficulty concentrating), a vig-
ilance test was included in the present study. We hypothe-
s i zed that children with slow handwriting would obtain
l ower scores on a series of standard visual-perc e p t i o n ,
m o t o r, visual-motor integration, and attention tests than
did children with normal handwriting speeds.
Teachers at two elementary schools in the greater Ta i p e i
a r ea nominated 110 children from Grade 2 to Grade 6 to
p a rticipate in the study. On the basis of between 6 and 18
months of classroom observations, the teachers eva l u a t e d
71 children as slow handwriters and the other 39 as having
normal handwriting speed.
To ensure the accuracy of these groupings, the 110
referrals we re each given the Chinese Handwriting Sp e e d
Test (CHAST; Tseng & Hsueh, 1997). In this test, chil-
d r en copy a text in pencil from a previously studied
Chinese textbook, and handwriting speed is expressed as
the number of Chinese characters written per minute.
Incompletely written characters (three or more stro k e s
omitted) are not counted. Characters with added stro k e s
a r e counted. The intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC)
for retest reliability was .98 with a 1-week interval. In this
s t u d y, the ICC for interrater reliability was .95.
Using one standard deviation below the norm as the
cutoff point, the children who scored below the cutoff
point for the CHAST we re assigned to the slow handwriter
g r oup (n = 34), and the children who scored above the cut-
off point we re assigned to the normal speed handwriting
g r oup (n = 35). Children whose teachers evaluations of
handwriting speed and CHAST scores we re inconsistent (n
= 41) did not take further part in the study.
All participants had been receiving handwriting
i n s t ruction in Chinese characters since Grade 1 and had
normal intellectual function according to their school
re p o rts. The age and handwriting speed of the two gro u p s
of children are shown in Table 1.
84 January/February 2000, Volume 54, Number 1
Four measures, including three perceptual or motor tests
and a vigilance test, we re used in the present study. T h e
Upper Limb Speed and Dexterity (ULSD) subtest of the
Bru i n i n k s - Os e retsky Test of Motor Proficiency (BOT M P ;
Bruininks, 1978) was used to measure fine motor function.
The BOTMP has been standard i zed on children ranging
f r om 4.5 to 14.5 years of age. The ULSD subtest consists
of eight items that invo l ve placing pennies, sorting card s ,
stringing beads, displacing pegs, drawing ve rtical lines, and
making dots. The test–retest reliability of the ULSD sub-
test was .89 for Grade 2 and .86 for Grade 6, with an inter-
val of 7 to 12 days. The test–retest reliability ranged fro m
.86 to .89, and the interrater reliability ranged from .79 to
. 9 7 .
The Test of Vi s u a l - Pe rceptual Sk i l l s — No n - Mo t o r
(TVPS; Ga rd n e r, 1982), which measures nonmotor visual
p e r ception in children ranging from 4 years of age to 12
years, 11 months of age, was selected for the study because
it covers a wide age range and examines various aspects of
visual perception, including discrimination, memory, spa-
tial relationships, form constancy, sequential memory, fig-
u r e ground, and figure closure. It is also re l a t i vely easy to
administer and score. The child is shown the test plates and
is asked to point to the correct response from a series of
choices. The TVPS has satisfactory internal consistency,
with Cro n b a c hs alpha ranging from .66 (visual discrimina-
tion) to .97 (visual closure ) .
The De velopmental Test of Vi s u a l - Motor In t e g r a t i o n
(VMI; Be e ry, 1989), which consists of 24 geometric forms
to be copied in sequence from a test booklet, was designed
for children ranging from 2 to 15 years of age. The geo-
metric forms become pro g re s s i vely more complex, and the
points for each successive, correctly copied form are added
to the child’s score. Scores continue to accumulate either
until all 24 forms have been copied or until three consecu-
t i ve forms are copied incorre c t l y. The interrater re l i a b i l i t y
ranged from .58 to .99, and the test–retest reliability was
.63 for an interval of 7 months and .92 for an interval of 2
we e k s .
The Vigilance Task of the Go rdon Diagnostic Sy s t e m
( Go r don, 1991) was used to test the part i c i p a n ts ability to
focus and maintain attention over time and in the absence
of feedback. The task presents a series of digits at a rate of
one per second. The child is told to press the response but-
ton whenever a 9” follows a “1. For the purpose of this
s t u d y, the number of correct responses was totaled. No r m s
h a ve been established on youngsters without hyperactivity
who are 4 to 16 years of age (n = 1,300). Te s t – retest re l i a-
bility was .68 to .85 with a 3-week interva l .
All children we r e tested one at a time in a separate, quiet
room in the childs own school. The perceptual or motor
tests and the Vigilance Task (Go rdon, 1991) we re adminis-
t e red consecutive l y, with a 3-min break between each.
Testing took approximately 40 min to 50 min for each child.
Data Analysis
Because many of the tests or subtests used in the current study
h a v e not been normed on Chinese children, raw scores we re
used for analysis. A multivariate analysis of variance (MANO-
VA) was performed to compare the scores of the slow and
normal speed handwriting groups using the perceptual or
motor measures and the Vigilance Task, and Pearson pro d u c t -
moment correlation was used to analyze the overall corre l a -
tions. St e pwise re g ression analyses we re performed to identi-
fy the best set of predictors, with handwriting speed entere d
as the dependent variable and the perceptual or motor mea-
s u r es and the Vigilance Task as predictor variables. Be c a u s e
the participants we re drawn from Grade 2 to Grade 6, age
was also entered as a predictor in the re g r ession analyses.
Group Differences
The normal speed handwriting group (n = 35) scored high-
er than the slow handwriting group (n = 34) on all measure s
(see Table 2). MANOVA re vealed a significant differe n c e
b e t w een the two groups on all measures using Wi l k ss lamb-
da [.59905, F(10, 58) = 3.88193, p < .001]. Except on the
Visual Closure and Visual Discrimination subtests, all of the
u n i v ariate F test values we re significant at the .05 level.
Correlation Among Handwriting Speed, Age, and Test
Tables 3 and 4 present the overall correlation matrixes for the
s l o w and normal speed handwriting groups, re s p e c t i ve l y.
Age, the ULSD, visual memory, and visual sequential mem-
o r y we r e the only four measures that correlated significantly
with handwriting speed for both groups of handwriters.
Regression Analysis
St e pwise re g r ession was used to identify the strongest pre-
The American Journal of Occupational Therapy 85
Table 1
Demographic Data of Slow Handwriters and Normal
Speed Handwriters
Mean Age Mean Writing Speed
Group n (SD) (SD)
Slow handwriting
Grade 2 4 84.8 (3.1) 3.6 (0.4)
Grade 3 8 101.3 (8.6) 4.5 (1.0)
Grade 4 12 109.1 (2.3) 8.9 (1.4)
Grade 5 5 125.4 (4.2) 9.0 (1.7)
Grade 6 5 135.6 (6.2) 9.3 (2.8)
Normal speed handwriting
Grade 2 7 87.4 (3.1) 7.6 (2.4)
Grade 3 9 103.9 (6.6) 13.3 (2.8)
Grade 4 8 113.6 (3.8) 15.2 (2.2)
Grade 5 5 120.4 (4.6) 18.7 (2.8)
Grade 6 6 133.2 (7.1) 22.0 (2.8)
Note. N = 69, where n = 34 for the slow handwriting group and n = 35 for
the normal speed handwriting group.
dictors of handwriting speed for each handwriting gro u p.
Handwriting speed was selected as the criterion va r i a b l e ;
age, the ULSD, the seven visual-perceptual subtests, V M I ,
and the Vigilance Task we re the predictor variables. Gi ve n
the small number of participants (n = 34 in the slow hand-
writing group; n = 35 in the normal speed handwriting
g r oup) re l a t i ve to the number of predictor variables (n =
11), predictors with negligible correlations (r < .20) with
handwriting speed we r e not included in the stepw i s e
re g ression analysis.
For the slow handwriting gro u p, the best predictors of
handwriting speed we re age, which accounted for 42.4%
variance; visual sequential memory, accounting for 13.1%;
and the VMI, accounting for 6.5% [F(3, 30) = 16.2997, p
< .0001]. For the normal speed handwriting gro u p, only
age and the ULSD we re found to be significant pre d i c t o r s .
Age accounted for 64.4% of the variance, and the ULSD
accounted for 9.95% of the variance in handwriting speed
[F(2, 32) = 46.296, p < .0001].
In this study, we found that, as a gro u p , the slow handwrit-
ers performed less well than the normal speed handwriters
on all measures (see Table 2). For the visual discrimination
test and the visual closure test, howe ve r, the differe n c e
b e t w een the groups was not significant. Perhaps the famil-
iarity of the written text to participants—it contained char-
acters that the children had already learned—taxed less
heavily the basic visual processing abilities of discrimination
and closure. Task familiarity has been found to significantly
influence handwriting speed (Di xon, Ku rzman, & Fr i e s e n ,
1993). T h e re f o r e, visual discrimination and visual closure
may play a less important role in copying familiar texts.
Poor coordination or inadequate fine motor skills have
often been invoked to explain slow handwriting speeds
( B erninger & Rutberg, 1992; Levine et al., 1981; Lindsey
& Beck, 1984; Sovik & Arntzen, 1991; Sovik et al., 1982).
In this study as well, fine motor skill as measured by the
ULSD was strongly correlated with handwriting speed in
both groups (see Tables 3 and 4). Howe ve r, the re g re s s i o n
analysis showed that fine motor skill was only an import a n t
p r edictor of handwriting speed for the normal speed hand-
writing group and not for the slow handwriting gro u p. T h i s
suggests that two different mechanisms might underlie the
handwriting performance of the two groups, with the slow
handwriters relying more heavily on visual processing, espe-
cially sequential memory and visual-motor integration, and
the normal speed handwriters’ performance more related to
upper-limb coordination.
The fact that visual sequential memory was the second
best predictor for slow handwriters also might suggest that
when intervention is re q u i r ed for slow handwriters, occupa-
tional therapy should be directed tow a rd enhancing the
m e m o ry for visual form and sequence. Although the pre s e n t
study examined Chinese handwriting, the importance of
visual memory is similar to that re p o rted in two studies on
English written language in children with handwriting dif-
ficulties. W h e reas Myklebust (1973) found these childre n
had difficulties in mentally visualizing letters and word s ,
Levine et al. (1981) noted their impairment in memory
re t r i e v al for visual patterns and sequences. Although it is
possible to speculate on the differences between the pro-
cessing of Chinese (a logographic script) and English (an
alphabetic script), Tzeng, Hung, Chen, Wu, and Hsi (1986)
found ove rwhelming support from both a literature re v i ew
and their own neurological studies of patients with brain
damage that there are more similarities than differences in
the processing of the two scripts. Both of the two scripts, for
example, are processed in the left brain hemisphere on the
basis of their phonological characteristics.
The finding that handwriting speed was strongly cor-
related with age for both slow and normal speed handwrit-
ers is consistent with previous studies (Ha n m s t r a - Bletz &
Blote, 1990; Sovik, 1975; Tseng & Hsueh, 1997; Zi v i a n i
& Elkins, 1984). In c r eased handwriting speed follows nat-
urally from the empirically observed fact that coord i n a t e d
handwriting movements improve with age and schooling
( Me u l e n b roek & van Galen, 1986; Sovik, 1993).
The finding that the slow handwriters performed more
86 January/February 2000, Volume 54, Number 1
Table 2
Means, Standard Deviations, and Results of Univariate
FTests on Perceptual-Motor and Vigilance Tests for
Slow and Normal Speed Handwriters
Tests Slow Normal Speed F (1, 67) p
Upper Limb Speed and 26.71 .0001
Dexterity subtest
(Bruininks, 1978)
M 40.5 48.9
SD 6.5 7.0
Visual discrimination 2.11 .151
M 13.7 14.3
SD 1.9 1.2
Visual memory 12.58 .001
M 9.9 12.2
SD 3.1 2.4
Visual spatial relation 10.86 .002
M 13.8 14.9
SD 1.6 1.2
Visual form constancy 11.28 .001
M 9.5 11.8
SD 3.4 2.4
Visual sequential
memory 9.64 .003
M 11.2 13.3
SD 3.2 2.4
Visual figure ground 9.01 .004
M 10.1 12.6
SD 3.7 3.1
Visual closure 0.92 .342
M 10.2 11.0
SD 3.3 4.0
integration 10.49 .002
M 22.8 29.9
SD 9.1 9.3
Vigilance 7.87 .007
M 38.5 41.8
SD 5.4 4.4
Note. n = 34 for slow handwriters; n = 35 for normal speed handwriters.
poorly in a laboratory measure of attention than the normal
speed handwriters supports clinical observations of a stro n g
relationship between slow handwriting and teachersratings
of inattention. This finding also suggests that a possible com-
ponent of slow handwriting stems from difficulties with
maintaining vigilance under unstimulating conditions.
Helping parents and teachers to promote an optimal aro u s a l
l e v el in order to facilitate attention span deserves occupa-
tional therapists serious consideration when working with
c h i l d r en with slow graphomotor output.
This study was not an attempt to examine the re l a t i o n s h i p
of quality or speed to handwriting performance. Qu a l i t y
and speed are important, and both should be addressed as
valid and independent indicators of handwriting perf o r-
mance. This study is perhaps one of the few that examined
s l o w handwriters and found that these children, as a gro u p,
we re poorer than children with normal speed handwriting
in graphomotor output, in level of perceptual-motor skills
and proficiencies, and in attention.
Results of re g ression analyses showed that the slow
handwriting group was not just slower than the normal
speed handwriting group: They we re qualitatively differe n t
in the way they processed written information. The perf o r-
mance of the slow handwriters seemed to heavily depend
on visual processing, whereas that of the normal speed
handwriters was motor based. Findings of this study sug-
gest that intervention for slow handwriters should focus on
facilitating visual processing, including memory and visu-
al-motor integration, rather than the fine motor training so
often emphasized in occupational therapy programs.
We thank those participating teachers and children from To n g - m a n
El e m e n t a ry School and Ji-shin El e m e n t a ry School. This study was sup-
p o rted through funding awarded to the first author by the Na t i o n a l
Science Council, NSC 86-2314-B-002-236.
Alston, J., & Ta y l o r, J. (1987). Handwriting: T h e o ry, re s e a rch, and
p ra c t i c e . New Yo rk: Croom He l m .
Amundson, S. J., & Weil, M. (1996). Prewriting and handwriting
The American Journal of Occupational Therapy 87
Table 3
Correlation Matrix of Handwriting Speed, Age, Fine Motor Proficiency, Visual-Perceptual Measures,Visual-Motor
Integration, and Vigilance for Slow Handwriters
Variable 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
1. Speed
2. Age .65***
3. Upper Limb .49**
Speed and
Dexterity subtest
(Bruininks, 1978)
4. Visual –.05 –.10 –.05
5. Visual memory .48**
.28 .04 .01
6. Visual spatial relations .25
.04 –.08 .57*** .25
7. Visual form constancy .18 .17 –.05 .38* .46** .33
8. Visual sequential memory .38*
.03 .30 .17 .51** .28 .18
9. Figure ground –.12 –.20 .09 .43* .25 .32 .61*** .23
10. Visual closure .05 .08 –.14 .39* .45** .32 .58*** .35* .45**
11. Visual-motor integration .29
–.02 .18 .09 .31 .37* .19 .12 .26 .32
12. Vigilance .31
.09 .34 .16 .43* .24 .37* .31 .55** .11 .23
Note: n = 34.
Variables with r > .2 were tested as predictor variables in the regression analysis.
*p < .05. **p < .01. ***p < .001.
Table 4
Correlation Matrix of Handwriting Speed, Age, Fine Motor Proficiency,Visual-Perceptual Measures,Visual-Motor
Integration, and Vigilance for Normal Speed Handwriters
Variable 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
1. Speed
2. Age .80***
3. Upper Limb Speed .78***
and Dexterity subtest
(Bruininks, 1978)
4. Visual .09 .16 .33
5. Visual memory .53**
.37* .60*** .31
6. Visual spatial relations .23
.19 .01 .08 .15
7. Visual form constancy .33
.24 .32 .36* .46** .33
8. Visual sequential memory .45**
.34* .54** .24 .46** .18 .44**
9. Figure ground .37*
.33* .28 .29 .28 .26 .43* .30
10. Visual closure .11 .03 .15 .17 .27 .14 .45** .19 .38*
11. Visual-motor integration .42*
.34* .43** .18 .49** .32 .41* .24 .51** .37*
12. Vigilance .26
.16 .36* –.14 .37* –.24 .04 .26 –.01 .30 .17
Note: n = 35.
Variables with r > .2 were tested as predictor variables in the regression analysis.
*p < .05. **p < .01. ***p < .001.
s k i l l s . In J. Case-Smith, A. S. Allen, & P. N. Pratt (Eds.), Oc c u p a t i o n a l
therapy for children (pp. 524–541). St. Louis, MO: Mo s b y.
Be e r y, K. E. (1989). The De velopmental Test of Vi s u a l - Mo t o r
In t e g ra t i o n ( 3rd ed.). Cleveland, OH: Modern Curriculum Pre s s .
Bergman, K. E., & McLaughlin, T. F. (1988). Remediating hand-
writing difficulties with learning disabled students: A re v i ew. B. C.
Jo u rnal of Special Education, 12, 1 0 1 – 1 2 0 .
Be r n i n g e r, V. W., & Rutberg, J. (1992). Relationship of finger
function to beginning writing: Application to diagnosis of writing dis-
abilities. De velopmental Medicine and Child Ne u ro l o gy, 34, 1 9 8 – 2 1 5
Bruininks, R.H. (1978). Bru i n i n k s - Os e retsky Test of Mo t o r
Pro f i c i e n c y. C i rcle Pines, MN: American Guidance Se rv i c e .
Carlson, K., & Cunningham, J. (1990). Effect of pencil diameter
on the graphomotor skill of preschoolers. Ea rly Childhood Re s e a rc h
Qu a rt e rl y, 5, 279–293.
Cermak, S. (1991). So m a t o s e n s o ry dyspraxia. In A. Fi s h e r, E. A.
Mu r r a y, & A. C. Bundy (Eds.), Se n s o ry integration: T h e o ry and pra c t i c e
( p p . 138-170). Philadelphia: F. A. Da v i s .
Cornhill, H., & Case-Smith, J. (1996). Factors that relate to good
and poor handwriting. American Jo u rnal of Occupational T h e ra py, 50,
7 3 2 – 7 3 9 .
Di x on, R. A., Ku rzman, D., & Friesen, I. C. (1993). Ha n d w r i t i n g
p e rformance in younger and older adults: Age, familiarity, and practice
effects. Ps yc h o l o gy and Aging, 8, 3 6 0 – 3 7 0 .
Ga rd n e r, M. F. (1982). Test of Visual Pe rceptual Sk i l l s . Seattle, WA :
Special Child Pu b l i c a t i o n s .
Go rdon, M. (1991). In s t ruction Manual for the Go r don Diagnostic
Sy s t e m (GDS). Model III-R. De W itt, New Yo rk: Go rdon Systems, In c .
Ha n m s t r a - Bletz, L., & Blote, A. W. (1990). De velopment of hand-
writing in primary school: A longitudinal study. Pe rceptual and Mo t o r
skills, 70, 7 5 9 – 7 7 0 .
Ha n m s t r a - Bletz, L., & Blote, A. W. (1993). A longitudinal study
on dysgraphic handwriting in primary school. Jo u rnal of Learn i n g
Disabilities, 26, 6 8 9 – 6 9 9 .
Johnson, D. J., & Carlisle, J. F. (1996). A study of handwriting in
written stories of normal and learning disabled children. Reading and
Writing, 8, 4 5 – 5 9 .
Levine, M. D., Ob e rklaid, F., & Me l t ze r, L. (1981). De ve l o p m e n -
tal output failure: A study of low productivity in school-aged childre n .
Pediatrics, 67, 1 8 – 2 5 .
L i n d s e y, J. D., & Beck, F. W. (1984). Handwriting and the class-
room experience: A recapitulation. The Po i n t e r, 29, 2 9 – 3 1 .
Maeland, A. F. (1992). Handwriting and perceptual-motor skills in
c l u m s y, dysgraphic, and n o r m a l children. Pe rceptual and Motor Sk i l l s ,
7 5 , 1 2 0 7 – 1 2 1 7 .
Ma rt l ew, M. (1992). Handwriting and spelling: Dyslexic childre ns
abilities compared with children of the same chronological age and
younger children of the same spelling level. British Jo u rnal of
Educational Ps yc h o l o gy, 62, 3 7 5 – 3 9 0 .
Mc Hale, K. & Cermak, S. (1992). Fine motor activities in ele-
m e n t a r y school: Pre l i m i n a ry findings and provisional implications for
c h i l d ren with fine motor problems. American Jo u rnal of Oc c u p a t i o n a l
T h e ra p y, 46, 8 9 8 – 9 0 3 .
Me u l e n b r oek, R. G. J., & van Galen, G. P. (1986). Move m e n t
analysis of re p e t i t i v e writing behaviour of first, second, and third grade
p r i m a ry school children. In H. S. R. Kao, G. P. van Galen, & R.
Hoosain (Eds.), Computer recognition and human production of hand-
w r i t i n g ( p p . 273–286). Si n g a p o re: World Scientific.
Myklebust, H. R. (1973). De velopment and disorders of written lan-
g u a g e , vol 2. Studies of normal and exceptional children. New Yo rk :
Grune and St r a t t o n .
Ol i ve r, C. E. (1990). A sensorimotor program for improving writ-
ing readiness skills in elementary age children. American Jo u rn a l
Occupational T h e ra py, 44, 1 1 1 – 1 1 6 .
Rubin, N., & Henderson, S. E. (1982). Two sides of the same coin:
Variations in teaching methods and failure to learn to write. Sp e c i a l
Education: Fo rw a rd Trends, 9, 1 7 – 2 4 .
Sovik, N. (1975). De velopmental cybernetics of handwriting and
g r aphic behavior. Oslo, No rway: Un i ve r s i t e t s f o r l a g e t .
Sovik, N. (1993). De velopment of childre n’s writing perf o rm a n c e :
Some educational implications. In A. F. Kalve r b o e r, B. Hopkins, & R.
Ge u ze (Eds.), Motor development in early and later childhood:
Longitudinal appro a c h e s ( p p. 229–246). New Yo rk: Cambridge
Un i versity Pre s s .
Sovik, N., & Arntzen, O. (1991). A developmental study of the
relation between the movement patterns in letter combinations (word s )
and writing. In J. Wann, A. M. Wing, & N. Sovik (Eds.). De ve l o p m e n t
of graphic skills: Re s e a r ch perspective and educational implications ( p p .
77–89). New Yo rk: Academic Pre s s .
Sovik, N., Arntzen, O., & Teulings, H. L. (1982). In t e r a c t i o n s
among ove rt process parameters in handwriting motion and re l a t e d
graphic production. Jo u rnal of Human Movement Studies, 8, 1 0 3 – 1 2 2 .
Thomassen, J. W. M., & Teulings, H. M. (1983). The deve l o p -
ment of handwriting. In M. Ma rt l ew (Ed.), The psyc h o l o gy of written
language: developmental and educational perspectives (pp. 179–213). New
Yo rk: Wi l e y.
Tseng, M. H., & Hsueh, I. P. (1997). Pe rformance of school-aged
c h i l d r en on a Chinese Handwriting Speed Test. Occupational T h e ra py
In t e rnational, 4, 2 9 4 – 3 0 3 .
Tzeng, O. J. L, Hung, D. L., Chen, S., Wu, J., & Hsi, M. S.
(1986). Processing Chinese logographs by Chinese brain damaged
patients. In H. S. R. Kao, G. P. van Galen, & R. Hoosain (Ed s . ) ,
Graphonomics: C o n t e m p o ra ry re s e a rch in handwriting ( p p . 357–374).
A m s t e rdam: No rth Ho l l a n d .
Tseng, M. H., & Mu r r a y, E. A. (1994). Di f f e r ences in perc e p t u a l -
motor measures in children with good and poor handwriting.
Occupational T h e ra py Jo u rnal of Re s e a r ch, 14, 1 9 – 3 6 .
van Galen, G. P. (1993). Handwriting: a developmental perspective .
In A. F. Kalve r b o e r, B. Hopkins, & R. Ge u z e (Eds.), Motor deve l o p m e n t
in early and later childhood: Longitudinal appro a c h e s ( p p. 217–228). New
Yo rk: Cambridge Un i versity Pre s s .
Weil, M. J., & Amundson, S. J. C. (1994). Relationship betwe e n
visuomotor and handwriting skills of children in kindergarten. Am e r i c a n
Jo u rnal of Occupational T h e ra py, 48, 9 8 2 – 9 8 8 .
Ziviani, J., & Elkins, J. (1984). An evaluation of handwriting per-
formance. Educational Re v i e w, 36, 2 4 9 – 2 6 1 .
Ziviani, J., Ha yes, A., & Chant, D. (1990). Handwriting: A per-
ceptual motor disturbance in children with mye l o m e n i n g o c e l e .
Occupational T h e ra py Jo u rnal of Re s e a r ch, 10, 12–26.
88 January/February 2000, Volume 54, Number 1
... Many studies mentioned that children with handwriting difficulties have deficits in fine motor coordination [1,20]. It also mentioned the correlation between visual motor integration and poor handwriting [21][22][23]. Volman et al. assumed that fine motor coordination and visual-motor integration are two different performance components in children's handwriting development [14]. ...
... Research on WRITIC-TP confirmed high internal consistency (α = 0.82), significant ability to discriminate between children with good and poor performance on paper-andpencil tasks (U = 11.78, p < 0.001), and excellent test-retest and inter-rater reliability, with ICCs of 0.92 and 0.95, respectively [22]. WRITIC-TP, administered in kindergarten, is found to be the primary predictor for handwriting quality evaluated by the Systematic Screening for Handwriting Difficulties [23] in grade 1 [30]. ...
... In the visual perception subtest, children must identify each item's identical match from a set of similar figures. In the motor coordination subtest, children must trace the interior of the 21 geometric figures without crossing over the shape s border [22]. Beery et al. [14] stated good psychometric properties, by age group, including test-retest reliability of 0.88 and interrater reliability of 0.93. ...
Full-text available
This article describes the translation and cultural adaptation process of the WRITIC (Writing Readiness Inventory Tool in Context) into European Portuguese. We examined the content and convergent validity, test-retest, and interrater reliability on the norm-referenced subdomain of the Portuguese (PT) WRITIC Task Performance (TP). To establish content validity, we consulted six experts in handwriting. Internal consistency was found with 70 children, test-retest reliability with 65, inter-rater reliability with 69, and convergent validity with 87. All participants were typically developing kindergarten children. Convergent validity was examined with the Beery-Buktenica Developmental Test of Visual-Motor Integration (Beery™VMI-6) and the Nine Hole Peg-Test (9-HPT). On content validity, we found an agreement of 93%, a good internal consistency with Cronbach's alpha of 0.72, and an excellent test-retest and inter-rater reliability with ICCs of 0.88 and 0.93. Correlations with Beery™VMI-6 and 9-HPT were moderate (r from 0.39 to 0.65). Translation and cross-cultural adaptation of WRITIC into European Portuguese was successful. WRITIC-PT-TP is stable over time and between raters; it has excellent internal consistency and moderate correlations with Beery™VMI-6 and 9-HPT. This analysis of the European Portuguese version of WRITIC gives us the confidence to start the implementation process of WRITIC-PT in Portugal.
... Furthermore, to our knowledge, there is only one test for the detection of handwriting difficulties that can be used for children before the acquisition of handwriting: the Shore Handwriting Screening for Early Handwriting Development (SHS) [7], usable from the age of three, but information on its psychometric properties is lacking, and no normative sample has been developed [6]. Further to this, different studies [8][9][10][11][12][13][14] have shown that the score obtained on a well-known standardised reproduction test involving geometrical shapes, the Development Test of Visual-Motor Integration (VMI [15]), is a good predictor of handwriting skills. The simplest geometrical shapes (horizontal line, vertical line, circle, cross, square, oblique cross, triangle) correspond to geometrical figures children need to master before learning letters [15]. ...
... This data, however, provides precious information on the rhythmic processes and motor planning of the hand gesture involved in handwriting. One and the same global score on the BHK scale could indeed hide different reasons for handwriting disorders, such as motor or neuro-visual disorders [8,10,[33][34][35][36][37] and not necessarily point to dysgraphia, for which treatment will be different. ...
Full-text available
Handwriting disorders (HDs) are mainly assessed using script or cursive handwriting tasks. The most common is the scale for children’s handwriting, with a French adaptation (BHK). The present study aims to assess the concurrent validity of a pre-scriptural task (copying a line of cycloid loops) with the BHK for the diagnosis of HDs. Thirty-five primary school children (7 females, 28 males) with HD aged 6–11 years were recruited and compared to 331 typically developing children (TDC). Spatial/temporal/kinematic measures were collected using a digital pen on a paper. Posture and inter-segmental writing arm coordination were video recorded. A logistic regression statistical method, including a receiver-operating characteristic curve, was used to assess the ability of the task to predict HD. Gestural patterns were significantly less mature in HDs than in TDC (p < 0.05), and associated with poorer quality, less fluid, and slower drawing (p < 0.001). Moreover, good correlations between temporal and kinematic measures and the BHK scale were found. Number of strokes, total drawing time, in-air pauses times, and number of velocity peaks showed very good sensitivity (88%) and specificity (74%) to diagnose HDs. Consequently, the cycloid loops task is an easy, robust, and predictive tool for clinicians to identify HDs before the alphabet is mastered.
... Handwriting performance is often evaluated based on handwriting speed and accuracy; children's abilities to write are based on various sensorimotor skills, namely, fine motor control, visual perception, oculomotor control, and visual-motor integration [1,9,10]. Motor skills for controlling the coordinated arm, hand, and finger movements are found to correlate with handwriting speed [11]. It is also reported that better fine motor control could result in more consistent pen pressure and hence better handwriting stability. ...
... Through strengthening children's motor control and muscle coordination, the ground time for movement execution could be reduced, as shown by the results of this study [9,28,29]. This aligns with previous studies reassuring significant associations between in-hand manipulation skills and handwriting speed [9,11]. For the between-group comparison, Group A outperformed Group B in terms of improving writing time per character. ...
Full-text available
Objective Sensorimotor performance is influential in Chinese handwriting, but few studies have examined the efficacy of sensorimotor-based interventions on Chinese handwriting among primary school students with poor handwriting performance. The study aims to evaluate a sensorimotor-based intervention to improve handwriting in the mainstream primary schools. Methods This study adopted a two-group pretest-posttest design. An 8-session group-based sensorimotor intervention was delivered to school-aged children (mean age = 8.1, 68% male). Group A had 2 sessions every week, while Group B had 4 sessions every week. Analysis of variance with repeated measures was used to test the effects. Results The intervention had a significant time effect (p < .05) in terms of improving handwriting process (d = 0.33–1.10), manual dexterity (d = 0.57), visual memory (d = 0.70), visual-spatial perception (d = 0.37), and motor and postural skills (d = 0.73). The effect sizes ranged from medium to large. For the handwriting process, time per character had a significant group × time interaction, with post hoc analysis showing that Group A had a significantly large effect (d = 1.89, p < .001) while Group B did not. Conclusions The group-based sensorimotor intervention programme appeared to show improvements in students with fair skills in writing Chinese characters. It appears that the effect is better if the training sessions are spaced out in one month rather than intensively conducted within two weeks. It might be related to more involvement from parents, and students need more time for practice after the training sessions.
... Research has proved that visual-motor practice with any symbol could lead to an increase in letter recognition and visual-motor coordination [112], [116]. So we have designed a letter tracing activity (Fig. 10) that mainly helps to learn English alphabet formation. ...
... Our initial case studies have demonstrated this. Generally, handwriting skills develop at the age of 7-8 years and attain automaticity at the age of 9 [4], [25], [102], [112]. Therefore, we designed and developed a software application for children in the age group 8-12 years. ...
Full-text available
According to the oscillation theory of handwriting, letters are formed by the coupled modulation of horizontal and vertical oscillations of the hands. This modulation-oscillation scheme requires human motor control. Hence, one of the reasons for poor handwriting is a lack of fine motor skills. The main objective of this study was to design, develop, and evaluate a hand therapeutic application (HanDex) for children with writing difficulties to enhance their hand dexterity. This paper describes the design, development, and evaluation of the HanDex app. It has mainly six activities for improving tripod grip, hand-eye coordination, spatial organization, letter formation, and fine motor skills. The main principle underlying the design of these activities is the oscillation theory of handwriting. A set of user interface (UI) guidelines have been followed in the UI design for simplicity, user motivation, easy navigation, etc. User evaluation of the prototype was conducted by ten participants in five iterations, and the final product was built by considering their feedback. Subsequently, we conducted case studies on two primary school children with poor handwriting skills to test the effectiveness of the application. This study used a single-subject pretest-posttest design to observe and measure the efficacy of the HanDex application. The posttest results showed a positive impact on letter formation, size of letters, spacing of letters and words, placement, speed, and legibility in these children. Hence, the HanDex app is promising and warrants further investigation in more children with different levels of handwriting difficulty.
... Anak-anak yang memiliki kemampuan visual dan motorik yang lebih berkembang cenderung memiliki koordinasi tangan-mata yang kuat dan menulis lebih rapi serta menggambar lebih cepat sesuai dengan tugas yang diberikan (Kaiser et al., 2009). Banyak penelitian juga mengungkapkan bahwa menulis lebih lambat karena lemahnya fungsi motorik halus selama tahun-tahun sekolah dapat menyebabkan kesulitan bagi anak-anak untuk berpartisipasi dalam kegiatan kelas karena kurangnya keterampilan verbal yang berkembang (Engel-Yeger et al., 2012;Howe et al., 2013;Tseng & Chow, 2000). Anak-anak yang memiliki gejala gangguan persepsi visual motorik cenderung terjadi pada anak-anak yang tertinggal pelajaran (Maslow et al., 1964). ...
Full-text available
Goodenough-Harris Drawing Test (GHDT) merupakan salah satu tes yang digunakan untuk mengukur kecerdasan anak melalui kematangannya yang dilihat dari hasil gambar. Sebagai sebuah tes yang hanya menggunakan kertas dan pensil, GHDT dianggap sebagai tes kecerdasan yang efisien dan tidak berbiaya mahal. Sementara itu anak-anak yang memiliki kemampuan menggambar dengan baik, biasanya mampu menghasilkan gambar orang dengan detail yang lebih lengkap. Oleh sebab itu, menjadi pertanyaan apakah kemampuan menggambar yang dihasilkan dari kemampuan persepsi visual yang tinggi berkorelasi dengan skor GHDT yang dihasilkan. Penelitian ini bertujuan untuk mengetahui apakah skor tes GHDT berkorelasi secara signifikan dengan skor tes Frostig yang merupakan ukuran kemampuan persepsi visual motorik anak. Partisipan penelitian adalah 200 anak berusia 6-9 tahun (L=97, P=103) yang berasal dari SD di empat kota besar Indonesia yaitu Jakarta, Bandung, Yogyakarta dan Semarang. Dengan menggunakan analisis korelasi Spearman, didapatkan korelasi yang signifikan namun berada dalam kategori lemah antara skor GHDT dengan skor Frostig anak, yaitu sebesar .398. Skor GHDT memiliki korelasi paling tinggi dengan subtes 1 Frostig yang mengukur eye-motor coordination dengan indeks korelasi sebesar .62 (korelasi kuat). Artinya, kemampuan persepsi visual anak memang berkorelasi dengan skor GHDT, namun GHDT sendiri tidak semata-mata hanya mengukur kemampuan persepsi visual anak.
Objective: Handwriting is a critical functional skill that impacts academic participation and progress. Occupational therapists address components of grasp in their handwriting intervention as it is commonly assumed that grasp affects legibility, fluency, and endurance, yet research studies examining this relationship are limited. Method: We used scoping review methodology to map existing research on grasp and handwriting performance in school-age children and to identify gaps in the literature. Results: Thirteen articles met search criteria and were categorized by grasp patterns and handwriting performance, and grasp force and handwriting performance. Findings suggest an inefficient grasp can lead to decreased handwriting legibility and fatigue. The current literature is inconclusive and several gaps were identified. Conclusion: Additional studies should address research gaps through inclusion of children with special needs and interventions including lengthier handwriting tasks representative of a typical school day.
Full-text available
Hand grip strength is a measure and indicator of general strength of upper limb as well as general body strength. The grip strength varies in different populations and regions due to difference in genetic makeup, nutritional habits, body type and level of activity. ADLs of upper limb depend on strength and endurance of hand as greater the strength and endurance greater the performance. Objectives: To find the effect of handgrip strength and endurance on handwriting speed. Methods: Associational study included 113 healthy young adult students. Convenience sampling technique was used. Dynamometer was used to measure the hand grip strength and endurance in a standardized manner. Letters per Minute test was used to assess the handwriting speed. Dynamometer is an instrument with excellent validity, consistency and reliability. Results: The hand grip strength and writing speed was moderately correlated as (r 0.559) and the hand endurance and writing speed was moderately correlated as (r 0.57). Conclusions: We concluded that hand grip strength and hand endurance have positive moderate effect on writing speed. Exercises that increase hand strength and endurance can increase the writing speed and ultimately academic performance of students.
Behavioral pediatrics is a multidisciplinary field that involves many healthcare specialists revolving around the practicing pediatrician and primary care clinician; also, various additional, associated fields of training have developed such as developmental-behavioral pediatrics, neurodevelopmental pediatrics, pediatric psychodermatology and medical care for those of all ages with developmental disabilities (1-16). Experts in psychiatry and psychology work closely with pediatric clinicians in a variety of professional relationships, including co-located and non-co-located mental health settings (17-24). Pediatricians can provide a wide variety of care to children and adolescents with complex disorders, depending on their training as well as interests, and this book seeks to provide au courant perspectives in behavioral pediatrics (25-29). Behavioral health screening remains an important task of pediatricians and behavioral pediatricians as they evaluate their pediatric patients (30-40).
Full-text available
Introduction to the study: The ability to write is a skill that is the source or foundation in the process of effective teaching and learning in various disciplines in schools. High achievement and ability in writing skills can definitely improve students' mastery of learning in the subjects taught by teachers. The problem of handwriting skills mechanism is one of the common features seen in Pupils with Special Needs Learning Disabilities (MBKMP). Therefore, handwriting skills among MBKMP is an issue that needs to be emphasized because it can slow down the teaching and learning process in the classroom. Purpose of the study: To identify the perceptions of teachers of the Special Education Integration Program (PPKI) on the problems of handwriting skills among MBKMP. Study procedure: Cross-sectional study, 55 teachers of special education integration program in the district of Selangor. Teachers have to answer two parts of the question that include socio-demographic data and Teachers' Perceptions of MBKMP Writing. Findings: The overall average percentage showed that 47.58% of the teachers agreed that handwriting skills are closely related to children's sensory development. Conclusion: The majority of teachers agree that sensory development greatly influences handwriting skills among children with Learning Disabilities.
This chapter presents two sets of studies: the first set discusses the issue of the right-hemispheric representation of Chinese logographs by examining the writing errors of patients with right- or left-hemisphere damage and the second set examines the role of graphomotoric codes in the processing of Chinese logographs. The study participants included Chinese brain-damaged patients. There were indications of a separation of the spatial framework and character reconstruction in the first study. The right-hemisphere patient showed visual neglect in the left visual field but not in writing and copying characters. Left-hemisphere damage patients had more difficulty in performance of the task. Graphomotor processes played an important role in patients tracing the sequence of strokes with their fingers. The studies with the brain-damaged patients provided clear evidence of the predominance of the left hemisphere in processing Chinese words, similar to the processing of other languages, dispelling a lot of myths about the Chinese language processing.
The legibility components (letter formation, spacing, alignment and size) and speed of handwriting were assessed for 575 children in grades 3 to 7. Inter‐rater reliabilities were high (−69 to −97) and test‐retest reliability over one week was lower for legibility (−44 to −84) than for speed (−93). In general, reliabilities were higher for the older children. Correlations among legibility components ranged from −46 to •76, though a principal factor analysis indicated that letter formation, spacing, alignment and size were discriminable elements of legibility. Correlations of legibility component scores with teacher ratings ranged between −52 and −76. Norms for speed were consistent with Groff's data and girls wrote significantly faster and smaller than boys. Girls also made fewer errors in letter formation than boys in grades 3, 4 and 5. Graphs indicating normative performance on the handwriting tasks were prepared.
describe a study (with 9 year old third-graders) in which a period of three years intervened between initial and final test sessions / a major focus was the relation between the contextual influence of words and certain measures of children's writing performances / the results of the study revealed effects of different writing tasks on children's writing speed and writing accuracy / this highlights an important point for handwriting research and education, that any appraisal of writing performance should take account of the sensitivity of children to the type of task they are asked to perform (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Slow handwriting speed is one of the major problems encountered by school-aged children having handwriting difficulties. These children are often referred to occupational therapists for assessment and intervention. However, to date, no norms of handwriting speed have been published for the Chinese writing system for school-aged children. The purpose of this study was to document handwriting speed performance of Chinese children from Grades 2 to 6. The results of this study will provide occupational therapists with an objective guideline when screening children who have handwriting speed problems. Participants were 1525 children from Grades 2 to 6 from three elementary schools in the Taipei area. Participants were asked to copy texts from a Chinese textbook that they had studied in the second semester of the first grade. The test lasted for five minutes. Results showed that handwriting speed increased with age; and the rate of increase was found to be greatest among Grades 2, 3, and 4. Furthermore, girls wrote faster than boys in Grades 3, 4, and 5. This study's baseline data on handwriting speed for the Chinese writing system provide further substantial information for future research and clinical practice. Copyright © 1997 Whurr Publishers Ltd.
The primary objective of the study was to examine whether pencil diameter affects preschoolers' pencil management and performance. The sample consisted of 48 preschoolers who ranged in age from 48 through 65 months. Each child was observed as he or she used both a large and a regular diameter pencil to perform selected graphomotor tasks. An observer recorded information regarding pencil management and preference. Specific performance criteria were used to rate the products of the tasks. Findings were consistent with previous research. There did not appear to be differences in pencil management and performance related to pencil diameter. However, there was some evidence to support the existence of a positive relationship between management and performance. Therefore, the recommendation to preschool caregivers and teachers is that both large and small diameter pencils be provided for preschool graphomotor activities.
Written stories of normally achieving and learning disabled children in grades one through three were compared, using a Handwriting Evaluation Scale designed for this study. The subjects also were given tests for receptive language, figure copying and spelling. The Non-LD and LD groups differed on figure copying, spelling and written productivity, but not receptive language. The Non-LD grade level groups differed significantly on two components of the handwriting scale (Letter Size and Control), while the LD grade level groups differed on three components (Letter Formation, Alignment and Spacing, and Letter Size). The most pronounced differences between the LD and normally achieving children were on Formation and Size. A separate analysis of the third grade stories revealed that handwriting was less related to productivity than spelling and visual-motor skills. Nevertheless, the results indicated that many LD students have weak visual-spatial-motor skills. Implications for intervention are discussed.
Handwriting speed and spelling were examined in a group of 10-year-old dyslexic children compared with children of the same age and with younger children of the same spelling level. The children wrote lists of words onto a digitizer pad in three different condition: a dictation, copying from a sheet on the desk and copying from a wall chart. The words ranged in complexity from simple monosyllabic phoneme to grapheme words to words needing orthographic and morphological information and non-words. There were differences in writing speed between the 10-year-olds and 8-year-olds in most conditions. There were no significant differences in speed of writing or pausing between the dyslexic children and the 10-year-olds. There was a difference in the number of errors in the spelling of non-words, the dyslexic children being inferior to both the other groups. The only difference between the dyslexic children and the 8-year-olds was in speed of writing in copying from the desk and in writing complex words. The performance of the dyslexic group was more similar to that of the 8-year-olds in the dictation but to the 10-year-olds in the copying conditions. Independent judges had no difficulty in identifying the 10-year-olds' writing but confused that of the 8-year-olds with the dyslexic children's. It is proposed that the dyslexic children had automatised movement patterns linked to spelling equivalent to their same age peers but that these patterns were built on accumulated inaccuracies in both letter formation and spelling.
Among various perceptual-motor tests, only visuomotor integration was significant in predicting accuracy of handwriting performance for the total sample of 59 children consisting of 19 clumsy children, 22 nonclumsy dysgraphic children, and 18 'normal' children. They were selected from a sample of 360 fourth-graders (10-yr.-olds). For groups of clumsy and 'normal' children, the prediction of handwriting performance is difficult. However, correlations among scores on 6 measures showed that handwriting was significantly related to visuomotor integration, visual form perception, and tracing in the total group and to visuomotor integration and visual form perception in the clumsy group. The weakest correlations occurred between tests measuring simple psychomotor functions and handwriting. Moreover, clumsy children were expected to do poorly on tests measuring aiming, tracing, and visuomotor integration, but not on tests measuring visual form perception and finger tapping. Dysgraphic children were expected to do poorly on visuomotor integration only.