The Contributions of Executive Functioning to Handwritten and Keyboarded Compositions in Year 2

Deborah Pino-Pasternak, Debora Valcan, Malpique Anabela, Timothy Teo, Mustafa Asil

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Writing is a highly complex skill, recruiting a range of cognitive processes that involve working memory, attention shifting and inhibition, also known as executive functioning (EF). Despite emerging research examining associations between EF and handwritten composition, the mediating role of transcription skills such as automaticity and spelling on the relation between EF and text composition remains underexplored. Even less is understood about the nature of these potential mediation mechanisms in keyboarding, a writing modality that is becoming pervasive in the early years of schooling. The present study examined whether transcription skills mediate the relation between children’s EF and text composition across two modes (handwriting and keyboarding) on a sample of 544 Year 2 Australian children. Assessments of EF, transcription skills and text composition were measured concurrently. Indirect pathways were tested via structural equation modelling. Findings indicated that across text composition modes, transcription skills (i.e., automaticity and spelling) mediated the relationship between children’s EF and writing composition (i.e., compositional fluency and compositional quality). The findings of this study extend current understanding of associations between cognitive processes and text composition in the junior years of schooling and innovate by examining whether hypothesised associations between EF and writing can be extrapolated to keyboard-based writing.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2023
EventEARLI 2023 : The 20th Biennial EARLI Conference for Research on Learning and Instruction - Aristotle University and University of Macedonia , Thessaloniki, Greece
Duration: 22 Aug 202326 Aug 2023


ConferenceEARLI 2023
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