Development and validity of the Arabic Handwriting Assessment for elementary school students

Abeer Salameh-Matar, Nasir Basal, Baraah Nashef-Tali, Naomi Weintraub*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Introduction: Assessing handwriting performance is important for developing effective intervention programmes. We describe the development of the Arabic Handwriting Assessment for elementary school students (A-HAT) and its initial psychometric properties. In its development, the unique characteristic of the Arabic orthography played an important role. Method: The A-HAT evolved through two stages: constructing the assessment and establishing content validity, and examining its feasibility and initial psychometric properties. The study included 114 normally achieving students in second (n = 54, Mage = 7.79, SD = 0.31) and fourth grades (n = 60, Mage = 9.86, SD = 0.40), whose mother tongue was Arabic. Students were administered the A-HAT, including copying a paragraph and writing to dictation tasks, in small groups. Results: Speed and legibility improved from second to fourth grades, in both the copying and dictation tasks. Girls were found to write more legibly than the boys in the dictation task. Finally, medium to high test-retest and inter-rater reliability were found. Conclusion: This study emphasises the importance of considering the unique orthography of a language in the development of a handwriting assessment. In addition, the results indicate that the A-HAT is a promising measure that may assist educators and clinicians in assessing the Arabic handwriting performance of students in lower elementary school.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)212-219
Number of pages8
JournalBritish Journal of Occupational Therapy
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2016.


  • Evaluation
  • Handwriting
  • Language
  • Primary school
  • Reliability and validity


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