An investigation of visual contour integration ability in relation to writing performance in primary school students

Wai Ping Cecilia Tsang, Agnes S.K. Wong, Jackson Y. Chan, Amos Y.T. Lee, Miko C.Y. Lam, C. W. Wong, Zhonglin Lu

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


A previous study found a visual deficit in contour integration in English readers with dyslexia (Simmers & Bex, 2001). Visual contour integration may play an even more significant role in Chinese handwriting particularly due to its logographic presentation (Lam, Au, Leung, & Li-Tsang, 2011). The current study examined the relationship between children's performance in visual contour (VC) integration and Chinese handwriting. Twenty students from grade 3 to grade 6 were recruited (M=9.51, SD=1.02) from a mainstream primary school using the convenience sampling method. Ten students were identified by teachers as having handwriting problems, and the other 10 were typical students. Participants performed the VC tasks and their handwriting performance was assessed by a Chinese Handwriting Assessment Tool (CHAT) in a classroom setting. Correlation analyses revealed that VC accuracy was significantly and negatively correlated with on paper time and total writing duration. t-Test analyses revealed statistically significant differences in VC accuracy between students with typical and poor handwriting, with consistently better VC accuracy performance in all conditions in the typical handwriting group. The results may have important implications for interventions aiming at improving children's handwriting.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2271-2278
Number of pages8
JournalResearch in Developmental Disabilities
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2012


  • Handwriting
  • Primary school students
  • Visual contour skills

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology


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