Developmental trajectories of motor skills during the preschool period
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Children with developmental coordination disorder also manifest difficulties in non-motor domains (attentional, emotional, behavioral and socialization skills). Longitudinal studies can help disentangle the complex relationships between the development of motor skills and other cognitive domains. This study aims to examine the contribution of early cognitive factors to changes in motor skills during the preschool period. Children (N = 1144) from the EDEN mother–child cohort were assessed for motor skills with the Copy Design task (NEPSY battery) and the parent-rated Ages and Stages Questionnaire (fine and gross motor skills scores) at ages 3 and 5–6 years. At 3 years, language skills were evaluated using tests from the NEPSY and ELOLA batteries. Emotional problems, conduct problems, inattention and hyperactivity symptoms, peer relationships and pro-social behavior were assessed with the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) also at 3 years. Linear and logistic regression models were performed to examine whether positive and negative changes in motor skills between 3 and 5–6 years are associated with specific cognitive skills at 3 years, while adjusting for a broad range of pre- and postnatal environmental factors. In the linear regression model, the SDQ Inattention symptoms score at 3 years was associated with negative changes in motor skills (standardized β = − 0.09, SD = 0.03, p value = 0.007) and language skills at 3 years were associated with positive changes in motor skills (standardized β = 0.05, SD = 0.02, p value = 0.041) during the preschool period. In logistic regression models, the SDQ Inattention symptoms score at 3 years was associated with a higher likelihood of a declining trajectory of motor skills (OR [95% CI] = 1.37 [1.02–1.84]). A higher language skills score at 3 years was associated with an increased likelihood of a resilient trajectory (1.67 [1.17–2.39]). This study provides a better understanding of the natural history of developmental coordination delays by identifying cognitive factors that predict changes in motor skills between the ages of 3 and 5–6 years.
KeywordsCohort studies Longitudinal analysis Preschool children Motor skills ADHD Language
We are grateful to the participating families, the midwife research assistants (L Douhaud, S Bedel, B Lortholary, S Gabriel, M Rogeon, and M Malinbaum) for data collection, the psychologists (Marie-Claire Cona and Marielle Paquinet) and P Lavoine, J Sahuquillo and G Debotte for checking, coding, and data entry. Members of the EDEN mother–child cohort study group are as follows: I. Annesi-Maesano, J. Y. Bernard, J. Botton, M. A. Charles, P. Dargent-Molina, B. de Lauzon-Guillain, P. Ducimetière, M. De Agostini, B. Foliguet, A. Forhan, X. Fritel, A. Germa, V. Goua, R. Hankard, B. Heude, M. Kaminski, B. Larroque†, N. Lelong, J. Lepeule, G. Magnin, L. Marchand, C. Nabet, F. Pierre, R. Slama, M. J. Saurel-Cubizolles, M. Schweitzer, O. Thiebaugeorges.
The EDEN study was supported by: Foundation for medical research (FRM), National Agency for Research (ANR), National Institute for Research in Public health (IRESP: TGIR cohorte santé 2008 program), French Ministry of Health (DGS), French Ministry of Research, INSERM Bone and Joint Diseases National Research (PRO-A) and Human Nutrition National Research Programs, Paris-Sud University, Nestlé, French National Institute for Population Health Surveillance (InVS), French National Institute for Health Education (INPES), the European Union FP7 programmes (FP7/2007–2013, HELIX, ESCAPE, ENRIECO, Medall projects), Diabetes National Research Program (through a collaboration with the French Association of Diabetic Patients (AFD)), French Agency for Environmental Health Safety (now ANSES), Mutuelle Générale de l’Education Nationale a complementary health insurance (MGEN), French national agency for food security, French speaking association for the study of diabetes and metabolism (ALFEDIAM). Additional funding came from ANR contracts ANR-10-LABX-0087 IEC, ANR-11-0001-02 PSL*, and ANR-12-DSSA-0005-01.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.
Ethical standards statement
The study was approved by the Ethical Research Committee (Comité Consultatif de Protection des Personnes dans la Recherche Biomédicale) of Bicêtre Hospital and by the Data Protection Authority (Commission Nationale de l’Informatique et des Libertés). Informed written consent was obtained from parents for themselves at the time of enrollment and for the newborn after delivery.
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