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Research Article  |   August 1990
Incidence of Atypical Pencil Grasps Among Nondysfunctional Adults
Author Affiliations
  • Kerstin P. Bergmann, MS, OTR/L, is Pediatric Coordinator, Department of Occupational Therapy, Dominican College, Orangeburg, New York 10962. She is also in private practice
Article Information
Education of OTs and OTAs / Pediatric Evaluation and Intervention / School-Based Practice / Research
Research Article   |   August 1990
Incidence of Atypical Pencil Grasps Among Nondysfunctional Adults
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, August 1990, Vol. 44, 736-740. doi:10.5014/ajot.44.8.736
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, August 1990, Vol. 44, 736-740. doi:10.5014/ajot.44.8.736
Abstract

Three groups of nondysfunctional adults were observed for atypical pencil grasps (i.e., nondynamic tripod grasps) used during functional writing situations: 58 occupational therapy students signing out equipment, 314 voters signing for their ballots, and 113 medical students taking a written examination. Among the total right-handed population, the most frequently used grasp was the dynamic tripod grasp (86%). The second most frequently used grasp was the lateral tripod grasp (10%). Other grasps were observed less often (less than 2% of the time). The surprisingly high incidence of the lateral tripod grasp suggests that this grasp may be considered a functional alternative to the traditionally accepted dynamic tripod grasp. Only 1% of the total sample showed immature grasp patterns (i.e., cross-thumb and static tripod grasps), thus indicating that most adults develop a mature grasp for functional handwriting.