Cross‐lateralisation in children with attention‐deficit/hyperactivity disorder and motor skill performance

Martin Musálek, Sara M. Scharoun Benson, Alena Lejcarova, Pamela J. Bryden
Published Online:
27 Jan 2020

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Cross‐lateralisation and increased motor difficulties have been reported in children with attention‐deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Nevertheless, the question of how crossed (i.e. mixed preference) or uncrossed (i.e. same side preference) lateralisation impacts motor performance in children with ADHD has yet to be examined. In this study, previously validated observational measures of hand and foot preference were used to identify right‐handed children with ADHD who display cross‐ (n = 29) and uncross‐lateralisation (n = 31). An uncross‐lateralised typically developing (TD) group (n = 32) was also identified, and included as a control. Motor performance was assessed with seven valid and reliable fine and gross motor tasks performed with both preferred and non‐preferred limbs. Group, task and sex‐related effects were examined. Findings revealed that male (but not female) cross‐lateralised children with ADHD performed significantly worse, respectively, in two of the fine motor tasks (spiral tracing [p < .01], and dot filling [p < .05]). Results suggest that cross‐lateralised hand and foot preference may affect complex motor skills in male children with ADHD. Furthermore, characteristics of ADHD may manifest differently in male and female children. Findings highlight the importance of considering both hand and foot preference when targeting motor interventions for children with ADHD.

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