Evaluating handwriting in children with developmental coordination disorder (DCD): Temporal, spatial, pressure and grip-force measures

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Writing involves complex sensorimotor and biomechanical processes that regulate pressure on the writing surface. Researchers analyze writing to understand kinetics and kinematics by evaluating temporal, spatial, and pressure aspects, yet discerning writing surface pressure and pen-grip force remains challenging. Aims: To compare handwriting kinetics (pen grip-force and surface pressure) and kinematics (temporal-spatial) of children with developmental coordination disorder (DCD) with those of typically developing (TD) children. Methods and procedures: Twenty-seven children with DCD aged 7–12 years and 27 TD children matched by age and gender copied a 29-word passage onto a computerized tablet. Temporal, spatial and surface pressure as well as pen grip-force were measured with a tablet and a wearable device respectively. Outcomes and results: The DCD group displayed significantly longer total writing time, mean letter time, and greater letter height, width, variance, spacing, area, and erasures than the TD group. Although there were no significant between-group differences in the surface pressure or maintaining pressure, the DCD group displayed weaker grip-force, p = .01, with greater variance. Conclusions and implications: The DCD group's weaker grip-force dynamics correlated with reduced legibility, form, and prolonged writing duration, revealing insights into handwriting mechanisms, particularly grip force, crucial for effective clinical interventions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104765
JournalResearch in Developmental Disabilities
Volume151
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2024

Keywords

  • Handwriting
  • Pressure developmental disabilities
  • Technology
  • Wearable device
  • Writing surface

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