OBJECTIVE. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of kinesthetic training on handwriting performance in first-grade students 6 to 7 years of age who had kinesthetic deficits and handwriting difficulties.

METHOD. With a randomized–blinded three group research design, 45 children were assigned to either a kinesthetic training group, a handwriting practice group, or a no treatment group. Kinesthesis and handwriting legibility were measured before and after intervention. Teachers’ judgments of handwriting legibility in the classroom setting were sought at 4 weeks after the intervention to see whether any improvement gained would be maintained in the natural setting. Two-way repeated-measures analysis of variance was used for data analyses.

RESULTS. At posttest, all groups showed significant improvement of kinesthesis, with no significant difference in the magnitude of improvement among the groups. There was no significant improvement of handwriting legibility as measured by a standardized test in any of the groups, although teachers indicated improvement of handwriting legibility in the classroom setting in all groups. Teachers also reported maintenance of handwriting legibility at 4 weeks after posttest.

CONCLUSION. Kinesthetic training did not improve handwriting or kinesthesis in these children. The findings of this study offer no support for use of kinesthetic training to improve handwriting legibility in first-grade students.

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