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Handedness in children at school entry: does the 'Mesker test' provide a valid method for testing writing handedness?



Handedness in children at school entry: does the 'Mesker test' provide a valid method for testing writing handedness?



Child: Care, Health and Development 19(2): 127-143



The 'Mesker test', an experiment devised after the psycho-motor dominance test described by the Dutch paediatrician Mesker, was evaluated as a method for testing writing handedness in 145 children at school entry in Crewe Health Authority. Also included in the assessment was if, and how these children know their laterality. Positive outcome was measured as Mesker test result corresponding to spontaneous hand-preference in symbol copying. The correct indication of right arm or leg was evaluated in relation to the outcome by chance. The Mesker test could not confirm hand-preference in children at school entry. There was no significant relation to the child's maturity and no significant consistency in test performance. The sub-group of right-handed writers who confirmed their handedness showed an almost significant level of consistency. No more children who thought they knew the right side indicated the correct limb then could have been arrived at by chance. This was not significantly related to having been taught, writing handedness or maturity. It is concluded therefore, that at school entry age children don't have a good knowledge of their body's laterality. Although the Mesker test does not confirm writing handedness at school entry, it may be useful in older children with inconsistent laterality.

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Accession: 046211228

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 8462131

DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2214.1993.tb00720.x


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