Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) affects around 2-6% of the population and is diagnosed on the basis of poor motor coordination in the absence of other neurological disorders. Its psychosocial impact has been delineated in childhood but until recently there has been little understanding of the implications of the disorder beyond this. This study aims to focus on the longer term impact of having DCD in adulthood and, in particular, considers the effect of employment on this group in relation to psychosocial health and wellbeing. Self-reported levels of life satisfaction, general health and symptoms of anxiety and depression were investigated in a group of adults with a diagnosis of DCD and those with suspected DCD using a number of published self-report questionnaire measures. A comparison between those in and out of employment was undertaken. As a group, the unemployed adults with DCD reported significantly lower levels of life satisfaction. Whilst there was no significant difference between those who were employed and unemployed on General Health Questionnaire scores; both groups reported numbers of health related issues reflective of general health problems in DCD irrespective of employment status. While both groups reported high levels of depressive symptoms and rated their satisfaction with life quite poorly, the unemployed group reported significantly more depressive symptoms and less satisfaction. Additionally, the results identified high levels of self-reported anxiety in both groups, with the majority sitting outside of the normal range using the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale. These findings add to the small but increasing body of literature on physical and mental health and wellbeing in adults with DCD. Furthermore, they are the first to provide insight into the possible mediating effects of employment status in adults with DCD.
- developmental coordination disorder
- life satisfaction
- general health