Role of mechanics in composing of elementary school students: A new methodological approach

Steve Graham, Virginia W. Berninger, Robert D. Abbott, Sylvia P. Abbott, Dianne Whitaker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

343 Scopus citations

Abstract

The authors used multiple-group structural equation modeling to analyze structural relationships between latent factors underlying separate measures of handwriting, spelling, and composing in Grades 1-6. For compositional fluency, the paths from both handwriting and spelling were significant in the primary grades, but only the path from handwriting was significant in the intermediate grades. For compositional quality, only the path from handwriting was significant at the primary and intermediate grades. The contribution of spelling to compositional quality was indirect through its correlation with handwriting. Handwriting and spelling accounted for a sizable proportion of the variance in compositional fluency (41% to 66%) and compositional quality (25% to 42%). These findings show that the mechanical skills of writing may exert constraints on amount and quality of composing. Theoretical and educational implications of the findings are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)170-182
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Educational Psychology
Volume89
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1997
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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