UBC Theses and Dissertations

UBC Theses Logo

UBC Theses and Dissertations

An analysis of circling directionality as a factor relating to academic achievement, laterality, age, sex, and point of circle commencement in students, grades K, 1, 2, 3 MacIsaac, Maitland


This study sought to discover the relationship of torque to the academic performance and other variables of children from five to eight years old. Torque was defined as the production of clockwise circles during a writing task. The phenomenon was first reported by Theodore Blau (1977) who proposed that children who torqued past a certain age were predisposed to problems both academic and behavioural. To measure the torquing propensities of children, Blau developed a Torque Test which had children produce six circles around X's (⊗), three with the preferred hand and three with the non-preferred hand. The present study used the preferred writing hand only and two torque tests, the Circling Directionality Test developed by the researcher using an embedded task to detect torquing and a modified form of Blau's Torque Test. Variables of academic achievement, age, sex, point of circle commencement, laterality, neuromuscular motor, control , test comparisons, and circling directionality were analysed. The population for the study consisted of 300 regular classroom children ages five to eight. Seventy-five children per grade were randomly selected by age from grade levels K-3. Significant relationships between torquing and low academic achievement were only found for the eight year old group who also had a higher incidence of left-handedness and crossed hand/foot laterality. Significantly more boys torqued than girls. As well, those who torqued in most instances commenced their circles at the bottom. Predictably significant relationships were found for hand and foot, but only left-handedness was significantly related to torque. No significant relationships could be found for measures of eyedness. Both tests used to measure torque were equally effective. The rapidity of circle construction did not alter the pattern of torquing in the children. There was a significant relationship between age and torquing with over 50% of the five year olds torquing with the preferred hand; by age eight this incidence had been reduced to 8% of the population. Torquing was then seen as a developmental trait found in a large percentage of five and six year olds but by age eight it was indicative of academic school difficulties. Recommendations for further study of the torquing phenomenon were made.

Item Media

Item Citations and Data


For non-commercial purposes only, such as research, private study and education. Additional conditions apply, see Terms of Use https://open.library.ubc.ca/terms_of_use.