Motor coordination and emotional-behavioral problems in children

John Cairney, Scott Veldhuizen, Peter Szatmari
Current Opinion in Psychiatry 2010, 23 (4): 324-9

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: To summarize recent research on developmental coordination disorder (DCD), with particular attention to comorbidity and related questions of etiology.

RECENT FINDINGS: Although a general consensus on the disorder definition exists, case identification in research studies remains problematic. Despite this, recent research has reported high levels of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder and internalizing disorders among children with poor motor coordination. These findings offer some support for the longstanding view that DCD may be one facet of a broader syndrome that includes learning difficulties and deficits in attention. 'Pure' cases are common, however, and other work suggests that DCD and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder have distinct causes. There is also some evidence that internalizing disorder may be a consequence of DCD.

SUMMARY: Measurement issues in DCD persist, whereas findings on comorbidity have both illuminated the nature of the disorder and heightened debate on its usefulness as a distinct diagnostic entity.

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