Author

Kapnick

Date of Award

8-2004

Degree Name

Master of Science

Department

Occupational Therapy

First Advisor

Dr. Cindee Quake-Rapp

Second Advisor

Dr. Ben Atchison

Third Advisor

Dr. Paula Jamison

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to evaluate if a visual-motor integration intervention improved handwriting legibility and visual-motor integration in first grade students as measured by the Minnesota Handwriting Test (MHT) and the Developmental Test of Visual-Motor Integration (VMI). Intervention was based on sensory-motor learning theories. Sixty-six children from four first grade classrooms in a suburban elementary school were randomly assigned to an intervention or a control condition. The intervention group received eight weeks of visual-motor integration training twice a week for 30 minute sessions. The control group received regular academic instruction. All children were tested on the Minnesota Handwriting Test (MHT) and the Beery Test of Visual Motor Integration (VMI) and two supplemental Perception and Motor tests before and after the intervention phase of the study. The MHT measures reproduction skills necessary for accurate printing. The VMI measures visual motor integration skills that are a foundation for handwriting. Raters were not aware of group placement. Univariate analysis of variance confirmed that there were no significant gain scores in the intervention group compared to the control of the MHT. There were significant gain scores for the intervention group of the VMI and the Motor coordination supplemental test of the VMI when compared to the control. The results of this study indicate that a visual motor intervention was effective in improving visual motor integration scores necessary for handwriting.

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