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The development of 199 children was studied at regular intervals from birth to 7.5 years. On each occasion hand preference was recorded. Their preferred hand was evident in 89.4% right and 85.7% left-handers by 4 years. Analyses on 242 children seen at birth and 7.5 years showed no associations between left-handedness and nine factors representing different aspects of “birth stress.” For 12 of 15 aspects of ability at 7.5 years left-handed children had slightly higher scores than right-handers. Pathological factors do not seem to feature in the provenance or consequences of left-handedness in a normal healthy population.