Gender and age differences in the presentation of at-risk or probable Developmental Coordination Disorder in adults

Mary A.M. Cleaton, Miri Tal-Saban, Elisabeth L. Hill, Amanda Kirby*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Background: Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD), also called Dyspraxia, is a common Neurodevelopmental Disorder (NDD) that affects motor coordination with a marked impact on both academic and day-to-day living activities. It is increasingly clear that NDDs such as Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder and Autism Spectrum Disorder may present differently in males and females, resulting in underdiagnoses of women and girls. Aims: To consider age and gender differences in the presentation of at-risk and probable DCD. Methods and Procedures: A sample of 1,476 adults aged 16–60 years were surveyed online using the Adult DCD Checklist. Outcomes and results: Women with at-risk (n = 1 8 6, 1 6. 6 %) or probable DCD (n = 6 4 3, 5 6. 6 %) reported significantly greater gross motor and non-motor difficulties and significantly greater impact on activities and participation, whereas men with at-risk (n = 58,16.3 %) or probable (n = 177,49.9 %), DCD reported significantly greater fine motor difficulties. Emerging adults (aged 16−25 years) with at-risk (n = 65,14.3 %) or probable (293,64.3 %) DCD reported significantly greater non-motor difficulty than adults (aged 26−60+ years) with at-risk (n = 179,17.5 %) or probable (n = 518, 50.8 %) DCD. Conclusions and implications: Both age and gender differences were found in the presentation of at-risk and probable DCD in adults. This may have implications for the development of future DCD assessment tools and for the training of front-line staff who may encounter individuals with DCD throughout their lives, including teachers, doctors and employers’ Human Resources and Occupational Health staff.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number104010
JournalResearch in Developmental Disabilities
StatePublished - Aug 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021


  • Adult
  • Age
  • Developmental Coordination Disorder
  • Dyspraxia
  • Emerging adulthood
  • Gender


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