European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry

, Volume 28, Issue 11, pp 1461–1474 | Cite as

Developmental trajectories of motor skills during the preschool period

  • Hugo PeyreEmail author
  • Jean-Michel Albaret
  • Jonathan Y. Bernard
  • Nicolas Hoertel
  • Maria Melchior
  • Anne Forhan
  • Marion Taine
  • Barbara Heude
  • Maria De Agostini
  • Cédric Galéra
  • Franck Ramus
  • the EDEN Mother-Child Cohort Study
Original Contribution


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.


Cohort 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.

Supplementary material

787_2019_1311_MOESM1_ESM.docx (45 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 45 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hugo Peyre
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  • Jean-Michel Albaret
    • 4
  • Jonathan Y. Bernard
    • 5
    • 6
  • Nicolas Hoertel
    • 7
    • 8
  • Maria Melchior
    • 9
  • Anne Forhan
    • 5
    • 6
  • Marion Taine
    • 5
    • 6
  • Barbara Heude
    • 5
    • 6
  • Maria De Agostini
    • 5
    • 6
  • Cédric Galéra
    • 10
  • Franck Ramus
    • 2
  • the EDEN Mother-Child Cohort Study
  1. 1.Department of Child and Adolescent PsychiatryRobert Debré Hospital, APHPParisFrance
  2. 2.Laboratoire de Sciences Cognitives et Psycholinguistique (ENS, EHESS, CNRS), Département d’Etudes Cognitives, Ecole Normale SupérieurePSL Research UniversityParisFrance
  3. 3.INSERM UMRSParis Diderot University, Sorbonne Paris CitéParisFrance
  4. 4.INSERM, UPS, Toulouse NeuroImaging Center, ToNICUniversité de ToulouseToulouseFrance
  5. 5.Inserm, Centre for Research in Epidemiology and StatisticS (CRESS)Research team on Early life origins of health (EAROH)VillejuifFrance
  6. 6.Paris Descartes UniversityParisFrance
  7. 7.INSERM, UMR 894, Psychiatry and Neurosciences CenterParis Descartes University, PRES Sorbonne Paris CitéParisFrance
  8. 8.Department of Psychiatry, Corentin Celton Hospital, APHP, Issy-les-MoulineauxParis Descartes University, PRES Sorbonne Paris CitéParisFrance
  9. 9.INSERM, Institut Pierre Louis d’épidémiologie et de Santé Publique (IPLESP UMRS 1136), Department of Social EpidemiologySorbonne Universités, UPMC Univ Paris 06ParisFrance
  10. 10.The Bordeaux School of Public Health (Institut de Santé Publique, d’Epidémiologie et de Développement), Centre INSERM U1219, Epidemiology-BiostatisticsUniversité de BordeauxBordeauxFrance

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