Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Kids Need a Dominant Hand

Occupational therapists have long known the benefits of a child developing hand dominance. A new study published in Pediatrics reports on children with mixed handedness. A longitudinal study was performed in Northern Finland on 7871 children ages 7 and 8 and then 16 years old. The results indicated that children with mixed handedness are at a two fold greater risk for language, academic, mental health issues and ADHD symptoms. The authors conclude that mixed handedness could be a sign that a child is at risk for these problems.

Do you see a higher rate of these symptoms in mixed handed children?

Reference: Rodriguez, Alina, Kaakinen, Marika, Moilanen, Irma, Taanila, Anja, McGough, James J., Loo, Sandra, Jarvelin, Marjo-Riitta Mixed-Handedness Is Linked to Mental Health Problems in Children and Adolescents Pediatrics 2010 125: e340-e348

2 comments:

heidi said...

I wonder if that holds true for kids that write with one hand but do sports with the other. I have one son who is right handed but shoots a hockey stick left handed. And a daughter that is left handed but hits a softball right handed.

Your Therapy Source Inc said...

heidi,

Funny, someone else posed the same question about athletes and mixed handedness on Twitter.

My hypothesis is that this may not hold true for "switch hitters". Your children and any athletes may still have a dominant hand (would choose to use one more often than the other).

In addition, the researchers also stated that "We found that mixed-handed children and adolescents were at a higher risk of having certain problems, but we'd like to stress that most of the mixed-handed children we followed didn't have any of these difficulties".

Reference: Imperial College London (2010, January 27). Mixed-handed children more likely to have mental health, language and scholastic problems, study finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved February 3, 2010, from http://www.sciencedaily.com­ /releases/2010/01/100125094511.htm