Electronic Device Use and Fine Motor Dexterity & Handwriting: A Pilot Study of South African Grade 2 Children

  •  Monique M. Keller    
  •  Pragashnie Govender    


Electronic media is at an all-time high in contemporary society with the developmental impact of electronic use still mostly unknown. This study aimed at determining the association between electronic device use and the impact on handwriting and dexterity in grade two children. Thirty four children aged between 7.2 to 8.1 years participated in a pilot study. A parental self-administered questionnaire was used to determine type and frequency of electronic usage, the Minnesota Handwriting Assessment measured six handwriting domains and the Nine-Hole-Peg-Test measured dexterity. Statistically significant correlations were computed for device use and handwriting score (r = 0.110) and device use and non-dominant hand dexterity (r = 0.137). Male children’s handwriting speed was superior (p < 0.015) and female children’s form of handwriting emerged as superior (p < 0.005). This study provides data on the potential impact of frequent device use on the overall fine motor development.

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