My general area of interest is perceptual-motor development. Within this area I pursue two different strands of research. The first has very practical applications, involving the development of suitable tools to assess motor skill. This has involved re-standardisation of a test of general motor competence (the Movement ABC-2) for children aged 3 to 16 years, with the collection of new UK norms. I have also developed a test of handwriting speed (the DASH) for children aged 9-16 years, with an extension for students aged 17-25 years (DASH17+). The second strand of my research focuses on various aspects of Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) - including diagnosis and assessment in children and adults with this condition. In my work I also employ an experimental approach to gain a better understanding of the perceptual-motor deficits in DCD.
I also have a special interest in the teaching and learning of handwriting skill, as an important component of the broader skill of writing. My work in this area includes surveys of policy and practice in primary schools and examinations of handwriting in individuals with developmental disorders such as DCD and dyslexia.
Research group membership
Research grants and awards
Writing in the digital age. Prunty, M., Sumner, E. & Barnett, A.L. Funder: Royal College of Occupational Therapy. Awarded 2019.
UK Standardisation of the IDS-2 (Intelligence & Development Scales). Barnett, A. Funder: Hogrefe Ltd. Awarded 2017.
Navigational abilities of typically developing individuals and individuals with Developmental Coordination Disorder. Wilmut, K. & Barnett, A. L. Funder: Economic & Social Research Council (ESRC). Awarded 2012.
Sleep disturbance in children with Developmental Coordination Disorder. Barnett, A.L & Wiggs, L. Funder: The Waterloo Foundation. Awarded 2012.
Extension of the Detailed Assessment of Speed of Handwriting (DASH) for 17-25 year olds. Barnett, A.L. Funder: Pearson Assessment. Awarded 2008.
Re-standardization of the Movement ABC. Barnett, A.L. Funder: Harcourt Assessment. Awarded: 2005.
Assessing impaired motor coordination in teenagers: An extension of the Movement ABC and development of a new handwriting assessment. Henderson, S.E. & Barnett, A.L. Funder: Action Medical Research. Awarded: 2003.
REF 2014 Impact Case Study: Improving identification and support of individuals with handwriting and movement difficulties through development of two tests: Movement ABC-2 and DASH.
The Movement ABC-2 Test is internationally recognised as the 'gold standard' for identifying children with motor difficulties. Prof Anna Barnett's revision and development has provided health and education professionals with a reliable assessment tool, improving the support for children and their familities. This test is recommended in the latest European guidelines on Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) - a condition recognised as having a major impact on the lives of children - and has also been translated into several languages for global use. The parallel development of specific tests for handwriting (DASH) and (DASH17+) for children and adults has provided clinicians and teachers with the tools to help support students with their class work and written examinations.