Research Article  |   March 2013
Writing Forces Associated With Four Pencil Grasp Patterns in Grade 4 Children
Author Affiliations
  • Heidi Schwellnus, PhD, is Postdoctoral Fellow in Cerebral Palsy, Bloorview Research Institute, Toronto, Ontario, and Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Rehabilitation and Social Integration, Quebec, Quebec, Canada
  • Heather Carnahan, PhD, is Professor, Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • Azadeh Kushki, PhD, is Postdoctoral Fellow, Bloorview Research Institute, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • Helene Polatajko, PhD, is Professor, Graduate Department of Rehabilitation Science, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • Cheryl Missiuna, PhD, is Professor, School of Rehabilitation Science, and Director, CanChild, Centre for Childhood Disability Research, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
  • Tom Chau, PhD, is Senior Scientist, Canada Research Chair in Rehabilitation Engineering, Bloorview Research Institute, 150 Kilgour Road, Toronto, Ontario M4G 1R8 Canada; and Professor, Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada; tom.chau@utoronto.ca
Article Information
Learning Disabilities / Pediatric Evaluation and Intervention / School-Based Practice / Children and Youth
Research Article   |   March 2013
Writing Forces Associated With Four Pencil Grasp Patterns in Grade 4 Children
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, March/April 2013, Vol. 67, 218-227. doi:10.5014/ajot.2013.005538
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, March/April 2013, Vol. 67, 218-227. doi:10.5014/ajot.2013.005538
Abstract

OBJECTIVE. We investigated differences in handwriting kinetics, speed, and legibility among four pencil grasps after a 10-min copy task.

METHOD. Seventy-four Grade 4 students completed a handwriting assessment before and after a copy task. Grip and axial forces were measured with an instrumented stylus and force-sensitive tablet. We used multiple linear regression to analyze the relationship between grasp pattern and grip and axial forces.

RESULTS. We found no kinetic differences among grasps, whether considered individually or grouped by the number of fingers on the barrel. However, when grasps were grouped according to the thumb position, the adducted grasps exhibited higher mean grip and axial forces.

CONCLUSION. Grip forces were generally similar across the different grasps. Kinetic differences resulting from thumb position seemed to have no bearing on speed and legibility. Interventions for handwriting difficulties should focus more on speed and letter formation than on grasp pattern.