Pencil Grasp and Handwriting

The Australian Occupational Therapy Journal published research on the effect of pencil grasp on handwriting speed and legibility in 120 fourth grade students after a 10 minute copy task.  A standardized handwriting assessment was completed before and after a 10 minute copy task by typically developing students and students with handwriting issues.

The results indicated decreased legibility after the 10 minute copy task but increased handwriting speed in both groups.  Although there was decreased quality of handwriting, there was no difference among four different pencil grasps.  The dynamic tripod pencil grasp did not provide an advantage over the lateral tripod or the dynamic or lateral quadrupod pencil grasps.

The researchers question the practice of having students adopt the dynamic tripod pencil grasp.

Reference: Heidi Schwellnus, Heather Carnahan, Azadeh Kushki, Helene Polatajko, Cheryl Missiuna and Tom Chau. Effect of pencil grasp on the speed and legibility of handwriting after a 10-minute copy task in Grade 4 children. Australian Occupational Therapy Journal June 2012 DOI: 10.1111/j.1440-1630.2012.01014.x