Shaping young children's handwriting and keyboarding performance: Individual and contextual-level factors

Anabela Malpique, Debora Valcan, Deborah Pino Pasternak, Susan Ledger, Bronte Kelso-Marsh

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There is a strong body of research showing associations between handwriting
automaticity and children’s writing performance. However, less is known about
keyboarding automaticity and young students’ writing performance. We investigated the relationship between handwriting and keyboarding automaticity and writing performance in both modalities in a sample of 49 students, as well as children’s attitudes toward writing in each modality. We also examined the frequency and the nature of the teaching strategies implemented to support children’s writing development at school, and the writing practices and support that children reported experiencing at home. Our findings showed statistically significant associations between letter writing automaticity in both
modalities and the quality and the length of Year 2 children’s handwritten and
keyboarded texts. Results further suggested statistically significant moderate to strong associations between all handwriting and keyboarding variables assessed. While our findings concur with research stressing the importance of preparing students to become “hybrid” writers by mastering both handwritten and keyboarding modalities, they also stress the need to examine contextual factors, such as teaching and home writing practices, to gain a more comprehensive view of factors impacting children’s writing acquisition and development.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-20
Number of pages20
JournalIssues in Educational Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023


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