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Handedness was compared in 125 English children and 185 young people from Papua New Guinea (PNG). Many of the latter were unfamiliar with implements such as pencils and spoons. The PNG subjects showed strong hand preferences, usually for the right, and on some items were more consistent in hand use than the English subjects. However, they had smaller hand differences on peg-moving and tapping than the English children. A factor analysis identified one factor with high loadings from items involving precise motor control, and another with positive loadings from only card-dealing, block-building and threading. The first factor was impervious to cultural influences, whereas the second showed considerable cultural variation.


Journal article



Publication Date





13 - 26


Adolescent, Adult, Child, Child, Preschool, Cross-Cultural Comparison, England, Female, Functional Laterality, Humans, Male, Motor Skills, New Guinea