Assessing Handedness in Pre-Schoolers: Construction and Initial Validation of a Hand Preference Test for 4-6-Year-Olds

By Kastner-Koller, Ursula; Deimann, Pia et al. | Psychology Science, July 1, 2007 | Go to article overview

Assessing Handedness in Pre-Schoolers: Construction and Initial Validation of a Hand Preference Test for 4-6-Year-Olds


Kastner-Koller, Ursula, Deimann, Pia, Bruckner, Johanna, Psychology Science


Abstract

The aim of this study was to develop and validate a test for measuring the handedness of pre-school children. The newly developed test consists of 14 activities for checking various aspects of hand preference and was administered to a Viennese sample of 120 children of the ages 4 to 6.5 (18 left-handed, 17 ambidextrous and 85 right-handed). For the purpose of validation, the handedness of the children was assessed via a questionnaire given to parents, observation of the hand used to draw and testing of visual-motor skills as well as general level of development using the Viennese Development Test (WET, Kastner-Koller & Deimann, 2002). The hand preference test proved to be reliable (α=0.97). The inter-correlations of the handedness measures gathered (parent's estimate as well as observation of drawing hand) with the hand preference test substantiates the concurrent validity of the procedure. Right-handers exhibited the most pronounced hand preference; while the hand use of left-handers was significantly less lateralized. Irrespective of the direction of handedness, children with a consistent hand preference had higher total development scores than children with inconsistent use, i.e. frequent changes in hand used for a specific activity. Compared to ambidextrous and right-handed children, left-handers achieved significantly lower scores in the field of visual-motor skills. The results highlight the necessity of a reliable method for differentiated measurement of handedness as early as pre-school.

Key words: Handedness, pre-school age, hand preference test

1. Research goals

The importance of handedness of children comes into play within the context of the development of visual-motor skills and acquisition of cultural techniques. While half of all three-year-olds already show a clear preference for using either the right or left hand, this percentage rises to about 90 percent by the time children enter school (Öztürk, Durmazlar, Ural, Karaagaoglu, Yalaz & Anlar, 1999). Altogether, about 10 percent of all children show a preference for using the left hand, left-handedness is about 25 percent more common among boys than girls (Bryden & Steenhuis, 1997).

Correlations between lateral preference, spatial perception and fine and visual-motor skills have been empirically proved for pre-school children. Bryden and Steenhuis (1997) point out that distinctly developed handedness facilitates right-left differentiation and thus spatial orientation. Karapetsas and Vlachos (1997) were able to show that right-handers performed much better on the task of copying complex figures. They attributed this to the different speeds of brain development, the myelin coating of the corpus callosum and the lateralization of the hemispheres. Giagazoglu, Potiadou, Angelopoulou, Tsikoulas and Tsimaras (2001) compared the gross and fine motor skills of left and right-handed children and concluded that right-handers show significantly better fine motor skills. In both studies, left handed boys usually exhibited the lowest visual-motor and fine motor ability (Giagazoglu et al., 2001; Karapetsas & Vlachos, 1997).

Spatial orientation and visual-spatial intelligence develops through active handling of spatial conditions, especially grasping (Olsson & Rett, 1989). Perceptions of visual figures, directions and spatial relationships are an important pre-condition for learning to read and write. Perceptual differentiation of graphic symbols, such as e.g. letters, places demands on the perceptive and cognitive ability even of well-lateralized right-handed children entering school. Left-handed children have greater problems ascertaining the spatial position of letters and groups of letters, even if no switch in lateral preference has taken place. In a recent study carried out among 8-12-year-old pupils with writing difficulties, Bonoti, Vlachos and Metallidou (2005) found out that this group consisted almost exclusively of left-handers. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Assessing Handedness in Pre-Schoolers: Construction and Initial Validation of a Hand Preference Test for 4-6-Year-Olds
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.