This paper explores the prevalence of emotional and behavioural disorders in children referred to a Community Paediatric Occupational Therapy service for assessment and treatment of problems with development of motor skills.
Parents of 47 children from a clinical sample of children who had been identified with Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) returned the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ)--a brief measure of the pro-social behaviour and psychopathology that can be completed by parents, teachers or youths.
Significant emotional and behavioural problems were reported by 29 parents (62%) with a further six (13%) reporting problems in the borderline range. Seven children (15%) were without significant problems in one or more area although only four of these (9%) were outside the borderline range for all of the sub-domains of the SDQ.
A significant proportion of children with DCD were reported by their parents to be at risk of psychopathology. Further research is needed to understand the relationshipbetween motor difficulties and emotional and behavioural symptoms; however, it is recommended that interventions for children with DCD should support mental health and behavioural problems as well as motor development.
Newcomen Centre, Guy's Hospital, London, UK. firstname.lastname@example.org