Physical activity of children with developmental coordination disorder in the presence of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder : does gender matter?
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Baerg, S., Cairney, J., Hay, J., Rempel, L. and Faught, B.E. (2009). Physical Activity of Children with Developmental Coordination Disorder in the Presence of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: Does Gender Matter? Brock University, St. Catharines, Ontario, CANADA. Children with Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) have difficulties in motor coordination. Attention-deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD) is considered the condition most co-morbid with DCD at approximately 50%. Children with DCD are generally less physically active (PA) than their peers, while children with ADHD are often considered more physically active. It is not known if the physical activity patterns of children with DCD-ADHD resemble those of children with primarily DCD or that of their healthy peers. The primary objective of this research was to contrast physical activity patterns between children with DCD, DCD-ADHD, and healthy controls. Since boys are generally reported as more physically active than girls, a secondary objective was to determine if gender moderated the association between groups and physical activity. A sample of males (n=66) and females (n=44) were recruited from the Physical Health Activity Study Team (PHAST) longitudinal study. The Movement Assessment Battery for Children (2nd Ed.) was used to identify probable cases of DCD, and Connor's Revised Parent Rating Scale- Short Version to identify ADHD. Subjects (mean age=12.8±.4 yrs) were allocated to three groups; DCD (n=32), DCD-ADHD (n=30) and control (n=48). Physical activity was monitored for seven days with the Actical® accelerometer (activity count, step count and energy expenditure). Children completed the Participation Questionnaire (PQ) during the in-school session of data collection for the PHAST study. Height, weight and body mass index (BMI) were also determined. Analysis of variance showed significant group differences for activity count (F(2,56)=5.36, p=.007) and PQ (F(2,44 )=6. 71, p=.003) in males, while a significant group difference for step count (F(2,37)=3.55, p=.04) was found in females. Post hoc comparison tests (Tukey) identified significantly lower PQ and activity count between males with OCD and controls (p=.004) and males with DCD-ADHD and controls (p=.003). Conversely, females with DCD-ADHD had significantly more step counts than their controls (p=.01). Analysis of covariance demonstrated a gender by DCD groups negative interaction for males (activity count) (F(2,92):;:3.11, p=.049) and a positive interaction for females (step count) (F(1,92)=4.92, p=.009). Hyperactivity in females with DCD-ADHD appears to contribute to more physical activity, whereas DCD may contribute to decreased activity in males with DCD and DCDADHD. Further research is needed to examine gender differences in physical activity within the context of DCD and ADHD.