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Research Article  |   January 2000
Grip Form and Graphomotor Control in Preschool Children
Author Affiliations
  • Allen W. Burton, PhD, is Associate Professor, Division of Kinesiology, 1900 University Avenue S.E., University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55455-0155; awb@tc.umn.edu
  • Michael J. Dancisak, MA, was Doctoral Student, Division of Kinesiology, University of Minnesota, at the time of this study, and is now Director of Graduate Studies for the College of Education, Concordia University, St. Paul, Minnesota
Article Information
Children and Youth
Research Article   |   January 2000
Grip Form and Graphomotor Control in Preschool Children
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, January/February 2000, Vol. 54, 9-17. doi:10.5014/ajot.54.1.9
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, January/February 2000, Vol. 54, 9-17. doi:10.5014/ajot.54.1.9
Abstract

Objective. The purpose of this study was to examine the utility of the grip scale presented by Schneck and Henderson, the effect of grip form on drawing accuracy, and the effect of implement diameter on grip form and drawing accuracy.

Method. Sixty boys and girls who were 3, 4, and 5 years of age performed 20 trials of a precision drawing task, 4 trials each with five implements of varying diameters (4.7, 7.9, 11.1, 14.3, and 17.5 mm).

Results. First, all 1,200 grips could be coded according to Schneck and Henderson’s 10-grip whole-configuration assessment system, but the interrater reliability was lower than expected (.67 proportion of perfect agreement). Second, using Schneck’s five-level scoring system, the level of grip significantly affected drawing accuracy, with the highest grip level used most often with the highest accuracy scores and the lowest observed grip level used most often with the lowest accuracy scores. Third, increasing implement diameter led to significantly lower level grips but did not significantly affect accuracy.

Conclusions. Therapists are recommended to use Schneck and Henderson’s 10-grip scale only for documenting the persons’ grips and changes in their grips, but if comparisons between individual persons are desired, then Schneck’s five-level scale, which affords greater generalizability, should be used. Further, children with graphomotor performance deficits are not likely to benefit from grip manipulations because such strategies were shown to make better only performance that is already good.