Fine and gross motor ability in males with ADHD
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In this study, both fine and gross motor ability of males with attention-deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) were compared with a group of control children. Three groups of males with the following ADHD subtypes: predominantly inattentive (ADHD-PI; n=50), hyperactive/impulsive (ADHD-HI; n=16), or combined (ADHD-C; n=38) were compared with 39 control males. Mean ages for the control group were 10 years 4 months (SD 1 year 4 months, range 7 years 8 months to 12 years 11 months); for the ADHD-PI group, 10 years (SD 1 year 2 months, range 7 years 10 months to 13 years); for the ADHD-HI group, 9 years 11 months (SD 1 year 2 months), range 7 years 11 months to 12 years 6 months); and for the ADHD-C group 10 years 2 months (SD1 year 4 months, range 8 to 13 years). The Australian Disruptive Behaviours Scale and Connor's Parent Rating Scale-Revised were used to assess ADHD symptomatology. Verbal IQ was estimated using two verbal subtests of the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (MABC) and the Purdue Pegboard test. Findings demonstrated that the children with ADHD had significantly poorer movement ability than control children. A high percentage of these children displayed movement difficulties consistent with developmental coordination disorder (DCD). In addition, the current study found that the type and degree of movement difficulty differed between subtypes. The Total Impairment score, as derived from the MABC, was less severe for the ADHD-HI group than the two ADHD groups, but more severe than for the control group. Males with ADHD-PI and ADHD-C had significantly poorer fine motor ability (p<0.001) than control males, whereas the ADHD-HI group did not differ significantly on fine motor ability but were significantly better than children categorized with both ADHD and DCD, it was argued that poorer fine motor ability found in children with ADHD could not be attributed to deficits in attention and concentration, but rather to factors relating to their motor ability.
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