Journal Article

The development of handwriting speed and its relationship with graphic speed and spelling


The present study addresses how handwriting speed increases with age among Spanish 8-, 10- and 12-year-old children (n = 60), and how this progression is related to spelling and more general graphic skills. Handwriting speed was measured in a spelling-to-dictation and a copying task, and graphic speed was measured in a trail tracing task. Results revealed that handwriting speed significantly increased from age 8 to 10 and remained stable up to 12 years of age, while graphic speed substantially increased only between 10 and 12 years of age. Thus, handwriting speed and graphic speed do not seem to follow the same pattern of development. Moreover, the relationship between linguistic processes and graphic skills with handwriting speed was not the same for all the groups. In the younger group, a different speed profile was obtained for each task, while in the groups of 10- and 12-year-olds, speed was similar in all the linguistic tasks. Graphic speed was positively correlated with speed in the spelling task only around the age of 10, and by age of 12 graphic speed correlated negatively when handwriting neatness was prioritized. Altogether, these results show that handwriting speed becomes consistent around the age of 10, when it is mostly affected by spelling ability and, in some circumstances, by graphic speed. By the age of 12, speed in linguistic tasks becomes decoupled from graphic speed and it is adapted depending on the relative importance of neatness and speed for the task.

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Afonso, Olivia
Martínez-García, Cristina
Cuetos, Fernando
Suárez-Coalla, Paz

Oxford Brookes departments

Department of Psychology, Health and Professional Development


Year of publication: 2020
Date of RADAR deposit: 2020-10-16

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License

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