Child Coordination Disorder Ups Risk of Mental Health Issues

Verbal IQ, social communication, bullying, self-esteem impact odds of mental health difficulties

MONDAY, March 26 (HealthDay News) -- Children with probable developmental coordination disorder (DCD) at age 7 have a significantly increased risk of depression and mental health difficulties at age 10, according to a study published online March 26 in Pediatrics.

Raghu Lingam, M.B.Ch.B., of the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom, and colleagues analyzed prospectively collected data for 6,902 children from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children. Using the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Text Revision criteria, probable DCD was defined as those children below the 15th centile of the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children Coordination Test, who had functional restrictions in handwriting or activities of daily living, excluding children with neurologic difficulties or an IQ of less than 70. The child-reported Short Moods and Feelings Questionnaire and parent-reported Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire were used to assess mental health.

The researchers found that the 346 children with probable DCD had an increased likelihood of self-reported depression and parent-reported mental health difficulties (odds ratio, 2.08 and 4.23, respectively). After accounting for verbal IQ, social communication, bullying, and self-esteem, the odds of mental health difficulties were significantly reduced.

"Children with probable DCD had an increased risk of mental health difficulties that, in part, were mediated through associated developmental difficulties, low verbal IQ, poor self-esteem, and bullying," the authors write.

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