Activities of daily living in children with developmental coordination disorder: performance, learning, and participation

Berdien Moraal-van der Linde, Jaap Netten, Bert Otten, Klaas Postema, Reint Geuze, Marina Schoemaker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background. Children with developmental coordination disorder (DCD) face evident motor difficulties in daily functioning. Little is known, however, about their difficulties in specific activities of daily living (ADL).
Objective. To (a) investigate differences between children with DCD and their typically developing peers, for ADL performance, learning, and participation, and (b) explore the predictive values of these aspects.
Design. Cross-sectional study.
Methods: Both in a clinical sample of children diagnosed with DCD (n=25, age range 5-8 years; 21 males) and typically developing peers (25 matched controls), parents completed the DCDDaily-Q. Differences in scores between the groups were investigated using T-tests for performance and participation, and Pearson’s Chi-square for learning. Multiple regression analyses were performed to explore the predictive values of performance, learning, and participation.
Results. Compared to peers, children with DCD showed poor performance of ADL (p≤.005 for all items), delays in learning of ADL p≤.002 for all items), and less frequent participation in some ADL (p=.001 for mean total scores, p≤.05 for 7 out of 23 items). Children with DCD demonstrated heterogeneous patterns of performance (poor in 10-80% of the items) and learning (delayed in 0-100% of the items). In the DCD group, delays in learning of ADL were a predictor for poor performance of ADL (p=.001), and poor performance of ADL was a predictor for less frequent participation in ADL compared to peers (p=.040).
Limitations. A limited number of children with DCD was addressed in this study.
Conclusions. This study highlights the impact of DCD on children’s daily lives and the need for tailored intervention.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1496-1506
JournalPhysical Therapy & Rehabilitation Journal
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 4 Jun 2015


  • developmental coordination disorder
  • children
  • activities of daily living


Dive into the research topics of 'Activities of daily living in children with developmental coordination disorder: performance, learning, and participation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this