Alternative models of the structure of individual and developmental differences of written composition and handwriting fluency were tested using confirmatory factor analysis of writing samples provided by first- and fourth-grade students. For both groups, a five-factor model provided the best fit to the data. Four of the factors represented aspects of written composition: macro-organization (use of top sentence and number and ordering of ideas), productivity (number and diversity of words used), complexity (mean length of T-unit and syntactic density), and spelling and punctuation. The fifth factor represented handwriting fluency. Handwriting fluency was correlated with written composition factors at both grades. The magnitude of developmental differences between first grade and fourth grade expressed as effect sizes varied for variables representing the five constructs: large effect sizes were found for productivity and handwriting fluency variables; moderate effect sizes were found for complexity and macro-organization variables; and minimal effect sizes were found for spelling and punctuation variables.
Reading and Writing – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 9, 2010
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