Theses Doctoral

Motoric and Language Systems Associated with Note-taking: Going Beyond Handwriting Speed

Tyson, Elena Aurora Salazar

In children with well-developed handwriting, handwriting speed is more strongly related to orthographic coding—the speed at which they can access verbal codes (SAVC) in memory— than fine motor speed. Only one study has investigated this relationship in an adult population (Peverly et al., 2014). This dissertation is a replication of that study, using archival data collected during two prior studies.

Two separate groups of students from an undergraduate university (Study 1, N = 147; Study 2, N = 94) completed measures of handwriting speed (Studies 1 and 2: a modified Alphabet Writing Task from Detailed Assessment of Speed of Handwriting 17+), fine motor speed (Study 1: Digit Symbol Copy task from the WAIS-III; Study 2: Diagonal Line task developed by Peverly et al., 2014), SAVC (Study 1: an adapted Verbal Fluency measure from the NEPSY; Study 2: RAN-A designed by Denckla & Cutting, 1999), language comprehension (Study 2: Nelson-Denny Reading Test), working memory (Study 1 and 2: Listening Span Test developed by Daneman & Carpenter, 1980), and executive attention (Study 2: group administered Stroop Color and Word Test). In the analysis, handwriting speed (DV) was regressed on all other variables (IVs) in each study.

In Study 1, three variables significantly and positively predicted handwriting speed: fine motor speed, compositional fluency, and SAVC (semantic retrieval only). Because of the measure of SAVC used in this study, the construct was split between phonetic retrieval and semantic retrieval. In Study 2, only fine motor speed and SAVC were positively predictive. Despite the differences in measurement between Study 1 and Study 2, the relationship between handwriting speed, SAVC, and fine motor speed remained consistent. Overall, these results lend further support to the conclusion of Peverly et al. (2014) that the relationship between fine-motor fluency and SAVC to handwriting speed is consistent beyond childhood and is evident in an adult population.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
School Psychology
Thesis Advisors
Peverly, Stephen T.
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
August 4, 2021