UBC Theses and Dissertations
Relationships between fine motorability and handwriting skill in grade five children Iaquinta, Maria
The primary purpose of this study was to investigate the relationships between fine motor and psychomotor abilities, as measured by a fine motor and psychomotor test battery, and handwriting skill. The secondary purposes were to investigate: relationships between handwriting skill and teacher ratings of achievement; and relationships between handwriting skill and features of penhold and posture. The range of cursive writing legibility and fluency demonstrated by 122 children in grade five was examined and 41 children were selected for membership in the three extreme groups of handwriting skill. The Top group demonstrated above average legibility and fluency. The Bottom group demonstrated below average legibility and fluency. The Slow group demonstrated average legibility and below average fluency. A fine motor and psychomotor test battery and handwriting task were administered and teacher ratings of achievement were obtained for the children in the three handwriting groups. Multiple regression analysis procedures were conducted on the motor test measures. Results indicated significant differences in fine motor and psychomotor ability among handwriting groups for tests which involve the precise manipulation of a pencil-like tool and which evaluate components of movement production or trace. Significance of the Motor Steadiness Battery, especially the Horizontal test, suggests that arm-hand steadiness may contribute to handwriting proficiency. Nondominant hand performance on Motor Steadiness Battery tests was more sensitive to group differences than was dominant hand performance. Analyses of variance procedures were conducted on the teacher ratings of ability and achievement. Ratings of written language, handwriting, and drawing were significantly different for the Top group when compared to the Bottom and Slow groups. Ratings of physical education were not significant. Chi-square analysis procedures were conducted on the observed features of penhold and posture. Only differences in proportions of children adopting the inverted wrist position and not placing the paper in the anticlockwise position were significant among groups. Implications of the study are discussed and recommendations for further research are presented.
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