Gender Differences and Handwriting

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Previous research has indicated differences in handwriting based on gender such as girls have often been shown to write faster and more legibly both in elementary school and in higher grades.  Although some research on the underlying components of handwriting has been done to determine why these differences may exist, very little has been explored regarding cognitive skills or self awareness.

The British Journal of Occupational Therapy published research examining the handwriting self-awareness and performance of 86 Israeli middle school students, girls and boys, and the relationship between self-awareness and handwriting performance.  A handwriting evaluation assessment was administered along with self-knowledge and on-line awareness questionnaires.  Self-knowledge was defined as “one’s understanding of one’s own cognitive strengths and limitations in different areas of functioning that exist outside the context of a particular task” and on-line awareness was defined as “the ability to monitor, regulate, and evaluate performance of an activity within a specific context”.

The results indicated the following:

1.  differences were found between boys and girls in relation to students’ self-awareness
of their handwriting performance.

2.  boys perceived their handwriting to be faster, even though their actual handwriting performance was slower.

3.  boys showed a significant correlation between self-knowledge and performance regarding legibility.

4.  boys and girls demonstrated significant correlations between on-line awareness and performance.

The researchers concluded that  students aged 12–14 are only moderately aware
of their handwriting performance, yet there are gender differences in relation to
this awareness.  In addition the researchers recommend evaluating handwriting
self-awareness (self-knowledge and on-line awareness) to help plan handwriting intervention.

Reference:  : Lahav O, Maeir A,Weintraub N (2014) Gender differences in students’
self-awareness of their handwriting performance. British Journal of Occupational
Therapy, 77(12), 614–618. DOI: 10.4276/030802214X14176260335309


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