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Hand preference survey of 5136 school children in Western Uganda

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Few handedness studies have been conducted with African populations. Our preliminary survey of 5136 primary school students from 16 schools in Western Uganda (age range: 4 to 19 years old) found that 4.8% (n = 248) wrote left-handed. Of the 248 left-handed writers, there were more males (57.3%, n = 141) than females (42.7%, n = 105). The average frequency of left-handed writing in males was 5.6%, while the average for females was 4%. Of the 24 primary school teachers we interviewed, half (n = 12) expressed no desire to have left-handed students switch to writing right-handed, and 29% (n = 7) advised left-handed students to write with their right hands, but did not insist upon their doing so. Only 17% (n = 4) could be described as strongly urging left-handed students to switch writing hands, with one comment (4%) not applicable. While handedness is not defined by a single manual activity (especially one sensitive to social pressure), this survey documents the incidence of left-handed writing among primary school children of Western Uganda.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Indiana University, Bloomington, USA 2: c/o Makarere University Biological Field Station, Fort Portal, Uganda

Publication date: April 1, 2004

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