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Spatial accuracy and temporal efficiency in children's tracing with a pencil
Uppsala University, Humanistisk-samhällsvetenskapliga vetenskapsområdet, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
2000 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The aim of the present dissertation was to develop a method for studying children's tine-motor development. The children were to trace a dotted line with a pencil. Their video filmed performance with each hand was analyzed - in Part One with respect to spatial accuracy and time, in Part Two with respect to overt behaviour by hand and arm, and in Part Three their performance was related to academic performance and visuomotor coordination. The longitudinal study involved 90 children aged 7, 8, and 9 years, and the cross-sectional study involved 30 pre-schoolers and 30 adolescents.

Spatial accuracy, defined in terms of number of dots covered by the pencil, increased systematically with age. Spatial accuracy showed a non-linear relationship with time. The one and only parameter of this exponential function was named Temporal Efficiency, applicable at group level and individual level. Also Temporal Efficiency increased systematically with age. This measure captures the trade-off phenomenon between accuracy and speed. The measure of Temporal Efficiency represents a new approach to the evaluation of tine-motor development and hand skill, and it is believed to be useful in other manual tasks as well.

Nine different movements by fingers, wrist, and arm were identified and analyzed quantitatively in terms of number of dots covered by the pencil. The children decreased their use of arm movements in favour of finger and wrist movements with age. They also increasingly preferred to trace with a wrist angle close to that of normal handwriting, instead of tracing with an almost straight wrist. Children managed to do so through changing the position of the forearm on the test paper more frequently and more rapidly at older age levels.

The correlations between fine-motor performance and visuomotor coordination were low to moderate in children aged 7-9. The same was true for the correlations between tine-motor performance and school subjects such as reading, spelling, and mathematics. Children, aged 9, with slight to severelearning problems generally had lower performance on fine-motor tasks (dominant hand) and lower performance in visuomotor coordination the previous year than children without such problems.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis , 2000. , 142 p.
Keyword [en]
Psychology, Children, pencil tracing, hand precision, spatial accuracy, temporal efficiency, hand movements, wrist angle, pencil grip, visuomotor coordination, school subjects
Keyword [sv]
National Category
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-68ISBN: 91-506-1403-7OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-68DiVA: diva2:168151
Public defence
2000-04-14, Anita Jacobson-Widding salen, Uppsala University, Uppsala, 13:15
Available from: 2000-03-24 Created: 2000-03-24Bibliographically approved

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