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From Scribbles to Script: Graphomotor Skills’ Impact on Spelling in Early Primary School

Maurer, Michelle N.; Truxius, Lidia; Sägesser, Judith; Eckhart, Michael (2023). From Scribbles to Script: Graphomotor Skills’ Impact on Spelling in Early Primary School [Dataset].

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Learning to handwrite is a significant challenge in early primary school, with 7% to 34% of children encountering difficulties. Despite this, the understanding of handwriting development remains fragmented. Graphomotor skills (including visuomotor integration and fine motor skills) are prerequisites for later spelling and build together the main elements of handwriting. This longitudinal study investigated potential predictors of first-grade graphomotor skills and second-grade spelling, including gender, working memory, and motivation to handwrite. The study included 363 first-grade children (49.8% girls) aged 6–9 (M = 83.64, SD = 4.65, range = 74.78 – 98.33). A structural equation model, controlling for age and socioeconomic background, revealed that motivation to handwrite predicted both first-grade graphomotor skills and second-grade spelling. Furthermore, working memory was identified as a predictor of graphomotor skills. Additionally, girls demonstrated superior performance in graphomotor skills compared to boys, and they also exhibited higher levels of motivation to handwrite. Building upon contemporary writing models and evidence, the findings highlight that graphomotor skills predicted spelling skills even when motivation and gender differences were taken into account. These findings underscore the significance of graphomotor skills in acquiring spelling and suggest that graphomotor skills contribute to spelling difficulties.

Item Type:


PHBern Contributor:

Maurer, Michelle N., Truxius, Lidia, Sägesser Wyss, Judith, Eckhart, Michael


[19 s 0002 01] Grafset - Settings der Förderung der Grafomotorik




Lidia Truxius

Date Deposited:

01 Nov 2023 13:36

Last Modified:

01 Nov 2023 13:36

Uncontrolled Keywords:

graphomotor skills, spelling, handwriting, working memory, motivation, gender, children




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