OBJECTIVE. We examined the relationship between handwriting and keyboarding performance and between these writing modes and underlying performance skills.

METHOD. Sixty-three young, healthy adults who used the computer daily were recruited for this study by means of a convenience sample (mean = 25.3, standard deviation = 3.0); 15 were slow keyboarders and 17 were fast keyboarders. Participants were administered handwriting and keyboarding assessments, as well as measures of finger function, kinesthetic processing, and eye movement.

RESULTS. Although handwriting and keyboarding speed were moderately correlated, these activities did not share underlying performance skills. In addition, different correlation patterns between written communication modes and performance skills were found among slow and fast keyboarders.

CONCLUSION. Results suggest that occupational therapists and educators should consider a variety of factors before recommending keyboarding as an alternative written communication method for people with handwriting difficulties. Moreover, different recommendations appear to be warranted for slow and fast keyboarders.

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