Elevated levels of mixed-hand preference in dyslexia: meta-analyses of 68 studies

Julian Packheiser, Marietta Papadatou-Pastou*, Angeliki Koufaki, Silvia Paracchini, Clara C Stein, Judith Schmitz, Sebastian Ocklenburg

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
6 Downloads (Pure)


Since almost a hundred years, psychologists have investigated the link between hand preference and dyslexia. We present a meta-analysis to determine whether there is indeed an increase in atypical hand preference in dyslexia. We included studies used in two previous meta-analyses (Bishop, 1990; Eglinton & Annett, 1994) as well as studies identified through PubMed MEDLINE, PsycInfo, Google Scholar, and Web of Science up to August 2022. K = 68 studies (n = 4660 individuals with dyslexia; n = 40845 controls) were entered into three random effects meta-analyses using the odds ratio as the effect size (non-right-handers; left-handers; mixed-handers vs. total). Evidence of elevated levels of atypical hand preference in dyslexia emerged that were especially pronounced for mixed-hand preference (OR = 1.57), although this category was underdefined. Differences in (direction or degree) of hand skill or degree of hand preference could not be assessed as no pertinent studies were located. Our findings allow for robust conclusions only for a relationship of mixed-hand preference with dyslexia.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105420
Number of pages18
JournalNeuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews
Early online date4 Oct 2023
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2023


  • Handedness
  • Dyslexia
  • Laterality
  • Hemispheric asymmetry
  • Reading


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