Tanya Noyes

University of New Hampshire

Communication Disorders


Mentor: Christine Guarino Ph.D., CCC-SLP

The Patterns of Handedness and Footedness in Normally Developing Children

Brain laterality may be inferred from preferred hand and foot use. The left-hemisphere has been consistently identified as dominant for speech language function. We may be able to infer evolving competence of dominant hemispheres based upon preferred hand foot use.

The purpose of this study was to examine possible relationships between the development of speech and language and preferred hand foot use. Seventeen subjects were recruited from The Child Development Center, located at the University of New Hampshire. The ages of the subjects ranged from 3.4 - 5.7 years of age, with a mean of 4.5 and standard deviation of 0.8. Six of the subjects were boys and eleven of the subjects were girls. Each of the subjects were administered the Hand and Foot Inventory (HFI) and the Test of Language Development (TELD-3).

Data has been collected and organized results indicate a mean Preferred Laterality Quotient (PLQ) of .75 (S.D. = 20). The PLU for boys was .796 (S.D. = .075) and the PLQ for girls was .665 (S.D. = .158). The results appear to indicate more consistent use of right hand and foot use in boys than in girls. Statistical analysis will be accomplished and results may reveal relationships between preferred hand foot use and speech language development.

« View 1999 McNair Scholars