Quality of general movements and psychiatric morbidity at 9 to 12 years

Mijna Hadders-Algra*, Hylco Bouwstra, Sabina E. Groen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


Background: General movements (GMs) form the basic motility of young infants. The quality of GMs may predict neurological outcome, but little is known about relationships between GM-quality and behavioral problems, including those resulting in overt psychiatric morbidity.

Aim: To explore relationships between abnormal GMs and behavioral problems, in particular relationships between abnormal GMs and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) with or without psychiatric co-morbidity at school-age.

Methods: Twenty-five low-risk full term infants and 16 infants at high risk for neurodevelopmental disorder but without cerebral palsy were studied prospectively. GM-quality was assessed during 'writhing' age (around term till 2 months post-term) and 'fidgety' age (2-4 months post-term). GMs were classified into normal and abnormal movements. When the children were 9-12 years, parents completed the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) and provided information on the presence of psychiatric diagnoses; teachers completed the Teachers Report Form (TRF). Both parents and teachers completed a questionnaire on ADHD-like behavior.

Results: Abnormal GMs at 'writhing' and 'fidgety' age were related to the presence of ADHD with psychiatric co-morbidity (p

Conclusions: This explorative study suggests that abnormal GMs in early infancy may be associated with an increased risk for behavioral problems, in particular for ADHD with psychiatric co-morbidity at school-age. (C) 2008 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-6
Number of pages6
JournalEarly Human Development
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan-2009


  • General movements
  • School-age
  • ADHD
  • Psychiatric co-morbidity
  • RISK
  • AGE

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