Gwenyth I. Roberts, Jodi E. Siever, Judith A. Mair; Effects of a Kinesthetic Cursive Handwriting Intervention for Grade 4–6 Students. Am J Occup Ther 2010;64(5):745-755. doi: 10.5014/ajot.2010.08128.
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OBJECTIVE. We studied whether Grade 4–6 students who participated in a kinesthetic writing intervention improved in legibility, speed, and personal satisfaction with cursive handwriting.
METHOD. Small groups of students with handwriting difficulties were seen weekly for 7 wk using a kinesthetic writing system. A repeated measures design was used to evaluate change in global legibility, individual letter formation, specific features of handwriting, and personal satisfaction.
RESULTS. Analysis revealed (1) a significant increase in ratings of global legibility (p < .01; clinically significant improvements in 39% of students); (2) significant improvements in letter formation and legibility features of baseline, closure, and line quality (all p < .05); (3) increased handwriting speed (p < .05; not clinically significant); and (4) significant increase in measures with personal satisfaction of handwriting (p < .01).
CONCLUSION. A kinesthetic handwriting intervention may be effective in improving the skills of students with handwriting challenges.
Copying: the phrase “The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dogs” (Sovik, 1975);
Composition: the Handwriting Subtest from the Test of Written Language (Hammill & Larsen, 1983); and
Alphabet samples: both connected and unconnected.
The Test of Written Language (TOWL) Handwriting Subtest Rating Scale rates global legibility of a student’s composition by comparing it with a series of graded specimens with a value ranging from 0 to 10, which is then standardized on a scale ranging from 0 to 20. Test–retest reliability is reported at .89, interscorer reliability at .76, and criterion validity with teacher ratings at .46.
The Handwriting Evaluation Scale (HES; Malloy-Miller, 1985) evaluates legibility by direct analysis of handwriting errors, on the basis of definitions for seven components of spacing within words, spacing between words, size of letters within words, size between words, baseline orientation, closure, and line quality. A percentage correct score (0%–100%) is obtained for each of the components. This instrument is reported to have face validity by using handwriting errors directly related to in-school handwriting tasks (Malloy-Miller, Polatajko, & Ansett, 1995). Interrater reliability of the HES has been reported at r = .94 (Roberts & Samuels, 1993).
Speed was evaluated on the copying sample, with the student writing the phrase repeatedly until 2 min had elapsed (Sovik, 1975). Letters per minute were calculated.
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