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Gender and age differences in the presentation of at-risk or probable Developmental Coordination Disorder in adults

Cleaton, M. A. M., Tal-Saban, M., Hill, E. L. ORCID: 0000-0003-3130-1271 & Kirby, A. (2021). Gender and age differences in the presentation of at-risk or probable Developmental Coordination Disorder in adults. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 115, 104010. doi: 10.1016/j.ridd.2021.104010

Abstract

Background: Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD), also called Dyspraxia, is a common Neurodevelopmental Disorder (NDD) that affects motor coordination with a marked impact on both academic and day-to-day living activities. It is increasingly clear that NDDs such as Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder and Autism Spectrum Disorder may present differently in males and females, resulting in under diagnoses of women and girls.

Aims: To consider age and gender differences in the presentation of at-risk and probable DCD. Methods and Procedures: A sample of 1,476 adults aged 16-60 years were surveyed online using the Adult DCD Checklist.

Outcomes and Results: Women with at-risk ( n = 1 8 6 , 1 6 . 6 % ) or probable DCD (n=6 4 3 , 5 6 . 6 % ) reported significantly greater gross motor and non-motor difficulties and significantly greater impact on activities and participation, whereas men with at-risk (n= 58,16.3%) or probable (n=177,49.9%), DCD reported significantly greater fine motor difficulties. Emerging adults (aged 16-25 years) with at-risk (n=65,14.3%) or probable (293,64.3%) DCD reported significantly greater fine motor and non-motor difficulties than adults (aged 26-60+ years) with at-risk (n=179,17.5%) or probable (n=518, 50.8%) DCD.

Conclusions and Implications: Both age and gender differences were found in the presentation of at-risk and probable DCD in adults. This may have implications for the development of future DCD assessment tools and for the training of front-line staff who may encounter individuals with DCD throughout their lives, including teachers, doctors and employers’ Human Resources and Occupational Health staff.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2021. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/
Publisher Keywords: Developmental Coordination Disorder, Dyspraxia, Adult, Gender, Age, Emerging adulthood
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
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