Journal of Neural Transmission

, Volume 115, Issue 2, pp 211–220 | Cite as

Motor coordination problems in children and adolescents with ADHD rated by parents and teachers: effects of age and gender

  • E. Fliers
  • N. Rommelse
  • S. H. H. M. Vermeulen
  • M. Altink
  • C. J. M. Buschgens
  • S. V. Faraone
  • J. A. Sergeant
  • B. FrankeEmail author
  • J. K. Buitelaar


Objective. ADHD is frequently accompanied by motor coordination problems. However, the co-occurrence of poor motor performance has received less attention in research than other coexisting problems in ADHD. The underlying mechanisms of this association remain unclear. Therefore, we investigated the prevalence of motor coordination problems in a large sample of children with ADHD, and the relationship between motor coordination problems and inattentive and hyperactive/impulsive symptoms. Furthermore, we assessed whether the association between ADHD and motor coordination problems was comparable across ages and was similar for both genders.

Method. We investigated 486 children with ADHD and 269 normal controls. Motor coordination problems were rated by parents (Developmental Coordination Disorder Questionnaire) and teachers (Groningen Motor Observation Scale).

Results. Parents and teachers reported motor coordination problems in about one third of children with ADHD. Problems of fine and gross motor skills, coordination skills and motor control were all related to inattentive rather than hyperactive/impulsive symptoms. Relative to controls, motor coordination problems in ADHD were still present in teenagers according to parents; the prevalence diminished somewhat according to teachers. Boys and girls with ADHD were comparably affected, but motor performance in controls was better in girls than in boys.

Conclusions. Motor coordination problems were reported in one third of children with ADHD and affected both boys and girls. These problems were also apparent in adolescents with ADHD. Clinicians treating children with ADHD should pay attention to co-occurring motor coordination problems because of the high prevalence and the negative impact of motor coordination problems on daily life.

Keywords: ADHD; dyspraxia; DCD; motor coordination problems; development; gender differences 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • E. Fliers
    • 1
    • 2
  • N. Rommelse
    • 3
  • S. H. H. M. Vermeulen
    • 4
    • 5
  • M. Altink
    • 1
  • C. J. M. Buschgens
    • 1
  • S. V. Faraone
    • 6
  • J. A. Sergeant
    • 3
  • B. Franke
    • 1
    • 4
    Email author
  • J. K. Buitelaar
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychiatryRadboud University Nijmegen Medical CentreNijmegenThe Netherlands
  2. 2.BAVO-Europoort, Youth DepartmentRotterdamThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Department of Clinical NeuropsychologyVrije Universiteit AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands
  4. 4.Department of Human GeneticsRadboud University Nijmegen Medical CentreNijmegenThe Netherlands
  5. 5.Department of Epidemiology and BiostatisticsRadboud University Nijmegen Medical CentreNijmegenThe Netherlands
  6. 6.Departments of Psychiatry and Neuroscience and PhysiologySUNY Upstate Medical UniversitySyracuseUSA

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