Research New Book: Beyond Left and Right Handedness

Prof. Dr. Elke Kraus' publication on a practice-based approach to assessing and analysing handedness dimensions and types

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ASH Berlin

Prof. Dr. Elke Kraus, Professor and Head of Department for Occupational Therapy at Alice Salomon University Berlin has published a new book on theory, research and practice of handedness.

Handedness is a multidimensional phenomenon co-determined by polygenetic and developmental aspects, multifactorial influences and in some cases, pathological impact. It is important for professionals working with children, including those who are still undecided about their writing hand, to assess, analyse and understand the complexity of handedness comprehensively to prevent problems related to switched or atypical handedness. Beyond Left and Right Handedness uses a practice-based approach to handedness and systematically integrates theory, research and practice. Part I, ‘Theory and Research,’ critically evaluates and utilises the broad spectrum of the handedness literature as a theoretical basis for the development of handedness instruments. Part II, ‘Assessment and Analysis,’ presents diagnostic and analytical instruments developed by the author based on numerous in-depth studies and extensive clinical practice over 20 years. These include the Handedness Profile, a standardised assessment of various handedness dimensions; and the Handedness Typology, an analytical framework to interpret different types of handedness. Part III, ‘Implications for Practice,’ contains detailed case studies on assessment and treatment by professionals working with children presenting with unclear and/or atypical handedness.

“This book provides the reader with a comprehensive and scholarly discussion of the topic, presenting a careful, in-depth description of all aspects of the topic and providing professionals with the necessary, evidence-based tools to address handedness in practice. It is an invaluable resource that is well situated in the latest evidence-based understanding of handedness and provides a comprehensive guide to addressing the important development of handedness.”   - Prof. Dr. Helen Polatajko

More abot the book


About the author

Prof. Dr. Elke Kraus holds a doctorate in occupational therapy (Ph.D) from the Department of Occupational Therapy at La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia, where she developed the basis of the Handedness Profile. Throughout her career she combined working in clinical practice with research and teaching, having studied, taught and practised in South Africa, Australia and Germanay. She is specialised in children’s handedness and fine motor skills. Since 2005 she is Professor and Head of Department for Occupational Therapy at Alice Salomon University in Berlin, and an experienced researcher, author of many publications as well as Editorial Board Member of the German peer-reviewed journal “ergoscience”. In addition to the Handedness Profile, she developed several other instruments, including the Pediatric Occupational Therapy Assessment and Process Instrument (PEAP), an participation-centered instrument for assessing the occupational status in children aged 3-8 years; as well as screening and intervention tools targeting fine motor and handwriting skills.
More on the author on her website: (in German)