Motor difficulties from childhood to midlife: A 40-year cohort study

Forskningsoutput: TidskriftsbidragArtikelVetenskapligPeer review



There are few studies of the persistence of childhood motor difficulties (MD) into adulthood.


To investigate the association of childhood MD with motor skills and body mass index (BMI) in midlife.

Methods and procedures

We studied 324 adults aged 40 from a cohort born in 1971–1974. At age 9, they had undergone the Test of Motor Impairment, used to classify them into groups: childhood MD (cMD), borderline cMD (bcMD), or no cMD. At age 40, participants comprised 23 with cMD, 47 with bcMD, and 254 with no cMD. Participants completed motor tests of balance, manual dexterity, and visuomotor speed, followed by recording of their BMI.

Outcomes and results

At age 40, the cMD group performed worse than the no-cMD group on all motor tests (p < .001–.008). The bcMD group had slower visuomotor speed than the no-cMD group (p = .025). The groups differed in BMI (p = .002). Having cMD was associated with obesity in midlife (p < .001). After adjusting for sex, childhood socioeconomic status, and BMI at age 9, both cMD and bcMD were associated with obesity in midlife (p = .015).

Conclusions and implications

Childhood MD are associated with poor motor skills, overweight, and obesity in midlife. This emphasises the importance of early intervention and follow-up when a child exhibits MD.
TidskriftResearch in Developmental Disabilities
Antal sidor13
StatusPublicerad - mars 2024
MoE-publikationstypA1 Tidskriftsartikel-refererad


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