Pen-grip kinetics in children with and without handwriting difficulties

PLoS One. 2022 Jun 24;17(6):e0270466. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0270466. eCollection 2022.


INTRODUCTION: Handwriting difficulty (HD) is a widely discussed issue. Previous researchers have revealed many valuable kinematics related to the handwriting performance. However, a clear understanding of the kinetics of handwriting performance in children with HD is still lacking. Therefore, this study investigated the writing performance of children with HD via a force acquisition pen (FAP), which detects the force applied from the digits and pen tip.

METHODS: Data from 64 school-age children were divided into control (36 children without HD; mean age: 7.97 years) and HD (28 children with HD; mean age: 8.67 years) groups. The participants were asked to perform a tracing task using the FAP at their usual writing pace.

RESULTS: Compared with the control group, the HD group had significantly less pen-tip force, an average amount of force (in-air) from all three digits, higher force variations (whole task) in the index finger, less force fluctuations with the index and middle fingers and a smaller force ratio.

CONCLUSION: The findings of this study suggest that an understanding of the handwriting kinetics and the role of digits in handwriting may be crucial for further planning strategies for handwriting training for children with HD.

PMID:35749546 | DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0270466

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