The relationship between handwriting, reading, fine motor and visual-motor skills in kindergarteners
Mary Jane Brotherson
Little is known about handwriting development in kindergarten. A vast number of studies can be found on reading, but few include writing skills and even fewer include handwriting skills in kindergarteners. This study examined the relationship between 7handwriting and reading measures at the kindergarten mid-year using the Alphabet Writing Test (Clark, 2010), Name Writing Test (Clark, 2010), and the Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS; Good & Kaminiski, 2002). The 48 participating students ranged in ages from 68 to 82 months, with boys making up 53.8% of the study. Significant correlations were found between handwriting measures and DIBELS measures. Students who scored lower on DIBELS measures also scored lower on handwriting measures. The study also found a significant difference between the student`s legibility in writing upper case letters compared to lower case letters; however, the speed of writing these letters was not significantly different. Variables that predicted alphabet writing included the student`s age, ability to write first and last name, and the score on the DIBELS Initial Sound Fluency. Variables that predicted name writing were the student`s age, writing the upper and lower case alphabet, the Beery TMVisual Motor Integration (Beery & Berry, 2006), and Motor Coordination test (Beery & Beery, 2006). The implications for kindergartener`s handwriting skills and future research are discussed.