Developmental skills between kindergarten children with handwriting difficulties in Chinese and/or English

Linda F.L. Tse (Corresponding Author), Andrew M.H. Siu, Cecilia W.P. Li-Tsang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Aim: This study aimed to examine the differences in developmental skills between children with and without handwriting difficulties in their last year of kindergarten education. Methods: Standardised tests on handwriting performance and developmental skills were administered to 20 typically developing children, 21 children with handwriting difficulties in Chinese and 23 children with handwriting difficulties in both Chinese and English. We used one-way MANOVA, univariate ANOVA and post hoc comparisons, to compare the developmental skills between children with and without handwriting difficulties. Multiple regression analysis was used to identify the significant predictors of developmental skills for Chinese and English handwriting performance. Results: Higher proportion of children faced handwriting difficulties in Chinese than in English. Their major problem in Chinese handwriting was on stroke formation, while the results did not indicate the key factor leading to English handwriting difficulties. The results also showed that children with handwriting difficulties had significantly poorer visual motor integration, some aspects of visual perception and fine motor skills than typically developing children. Reading skills were not a key factor contributing to handwriting performance. In addition, visual and fine motor integration and spatial relationship were the significant predictors of Chinese and English handwriting performance, which accounted for 39.7 and 43.6% of the variance respectively. Conclusion: First, the results suggested that more resources should be devoted to coaching children to learn Chinese than English handwriting. Second, besides direct repetitive practice on handwriting, there is a need to incorporate learning activities to facilitate the development of visual motor skills, visual perception, and fine motor skills as a preparation for learning to write or in improving handwriting performance among kindergarten children.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAustralian Occupational Therapy Journal
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Chinese
  • developmental skills
  • English
  • handwriting difficulties
  • kindergarten child

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Occupational Therapy


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