Perceptual, motor and attentional deficits in six-year-old children. Epidemiological aspects

J Child Psychol Psychiatry. 1982 Apr;23(2):131-44. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-7610.1982.tb00058.x.


A total population study of 4797 six-year-old children attending the public preschools in the city of Göteborg (Gothenburg) has been carried out. A questionnaire with 34 questions about MBD-related problems was distributed to all pre-school teachers. Three thousand four hundred and forty-eight questionnaires were completed. Factor analysis of the questionnaire and empirical results from a pilot study provided the basis for selecting for further study children with pre-school signs and symptoms suggestive of MBD. Neurological, psychiatric and psychological assessment of 82 children with, and 59 children without, pre-school symptoms of MBD revealed that in the index groups 41% of the children, and in the control group 3% of the children, had MBD. Extrapolation procedures gave a total population frequency of 1.2% with severe MBD and a further 5.9% with mild-moderate MBD. A very large questionnaire refusal rate (28%) is discussed. The relevance of the calculated frequency figures, especially as regards the mild-moderate MBD category, cannot be properly evaluated until long-term follow-up has been completed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Attention
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / diagnosis
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / epidemiology*
  • Child
  • Child Behavior
  • Child, Preschool
  • Factor Analysis, Statistical
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Motor Skills
  • Sex Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Sweden