OBJECTIVE. The purpose of this research was to study how the speed and legibility of fourth-grader’s hand writing was affected by type of pencil grip on the Evaluation Tool of Children’s Handwriting-Cursive.

METHOD. Ninety-five typically developing students and 6 students receiving special education services completed the Evaluation Tool of Children’s Handwriting-Cursive (ETCH-C). Photographs were taken of their pencil grips while they wrote the alphabet. One-way ANOVAs were calculated to compare legibility rates and writing speeds by type of pencil grip.

RESULTS. Ninety-nine of the students used one of four pencil grips including the dynamic tripod (38 students), the dynamic quadrupod (18), the lateral tripod (22), and the lateral quadrupod (21). One student used the four-finger pencil grip and one used the interdigital pencil grip. Mean cursive writing speeds were similar for all pencil grips except for the interdigital grasp. Speeds obtained were slower than recently published fourth-grade speeds ranging from a mean of 29.45 to 34.75 letters per minute.

CONCLUSION. This study found the lateral quadrupod and four-finger pencil grips to be as functional as the dynamic tripod, lateral tripod, and dynamic quadrupod pencil grips. This study provides average handwriting speeds for fourth-grade students on the ETCH-C.

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