Developmental coordination impairments in adulthood

Hum Mov Sci. 2003 Nov;22(4-5):433-59. doi: 10.1016/j.humov.2003.09.003.


The aim of this study was to extend the understanding of Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) into adulthood. We recruited 19 adults aged between 18 and 65 who had received diagnoses of DCD or dyspraxia or who self-reported as having motor impairments consistent with a history of DCD, together with age- and gender-matched controls. Participants were given tests of manual dexterity, handwriting, construction, obstacle avoidance, dynamic balance, static balance, dual task performance, ball skills, reaction time, movement time and sequencing. As a group, adults with DCD performed more poorly than controls across all tasks. Slowness and variability of movement was a pervasive feature of their performance and many individuals had considerable problems with sequencing and with dual task performance. A discriminant function analysis conducted using six performance measures correctly classified participants as car drivers or non-drivers. Adults do retain motor difficulties and these can exclude them from important activities of daily living.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Automobile Driving
  • Female
  • Gait Apraxia / classification
  • Gait Apraxia / diagnosis
  • Handwriting
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Motor Skills Disorders / classification
  • Motor Skills Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Postural Balance
  • Psychomotor Disorders / classification
  • Psychomotor Disorders / diagnosis
  • Reaction Time