Development of handwriting speed and legibility in grades 1–9

Steve Graham, William Schafer, Virginia Berninger, Naomi Weintraub

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

141 Scopus citations

Abstract

The development of handwriting speed and legibility in 900 children in Grades 1–9 was examined. Each student completed 3 writing tasks: copying a paragraph, writing a narrative, and writing an essay. The children's speed of handwriting on the copying task typically increased from one grade to the next, but the pace of development was uneven during the intermediate grades and leveled off in Grade 9 as speed began to approximate adult speeds. In contrast, improvement in handwriting legibility on the 3 writing tasks was primarily limited to the intermediate grades. Girls' handwriting was more legible than boys' handwriting, and the girls wrote faster in Grades 1, 6, and 7. Right-handers were also faster than left-handers, but there was no difference in the legibility of their written products. Finally, handwriting speed contributed significantly to the prediction of legibility on the narrative and expository writing tasks, but the contribution was small, accounting for only 1 % of the variance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)42-52
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Educational Research
Volume92
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1998
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Development of handwriting speed and legibility in grades 1–9'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this