OBJECTIVE. We investigated differences in handwriting kinetics, speed, and legibility among four pencil grasps after a 10-min copy task.

METHOD. Seventy-four Grade 4 students completed a handwriting assessment before and after a copy task. Grip and axial forces were measured with an instrumented stylus and force-sensitive tablet. We used multiple linear regression to analyze the relationship between grasp pattern and grip and axial forces.

RESULTS. We found no kinetic differences among grasps, whether considered individually or grouped by the number of fingers on the barrel. However, when grasps were grouped according to the thumb position, the adducted grasps exhibited higher mean grip and axial forces.

CONCLUSION. Grip forces were generally similar across the different grasps. Kinetic differences resulting from thumb position seemed to have no bearing on speed and legibility. Interventions for handwriting difficulties should focus more on speed and letter formation than on grasp pattern.

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