Developmental coordination disorder (DCD) is a disorder affecting motor coordination which negatively impacts academic and daily activities in various environments. The military is a highly structured environment with limited freedom, placing high demand on motor coordination, organizational ability, time management, and social skills. All these present challenges to young adults with DCD. Our study aimed to describe and assess the functioning of young adults with DCD in the Israel Defense Forces. Participants included three groups of young adults recruited via the Israel Army Health Survey upon discharge from active service: probable DCD (135), suspected borderline DCD (149), and control (145). Participants completed the Adolescents & Adults Coordination Questionnaire and the Army Questionnaire. The probable-DCD group reported significantly more difficulties in their military service than did the other groups: more unit reassignments, more accidents during field operations, and more complaints related to discipline and professional behavior. Significant differences emerged between both DCD groups and the control group in “understanding of learning materials,” “forgetting belongings,” and “success in the army.” The participants with probable DCD and suspected borderline DCD were able to integrate into the army, but the probable-DCD group performed significantly worse than the others and reported more difficulties participating in the army. These results highlight the importance of being aware of soldiers with probable DCD, in order to assign them duties that fit their abilities.
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© 2021 Society for Military Psychology, Division 19 of the American Psychological Association.
- Developmental coordination disorder (DCD)
- military setting