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Peer victimization and depression in children with and without motor coordination difficulties


  • This research was supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. Wenonah Campbell was supported by a McMaster Child Health Research Institute Fellowship Award and by the CanChild Centre for Childhood Disability Research. Cheryl Missiuna was supported by a Rehabilitation Career Scientist Award from the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.

    We thank Heather Brittain and Patricia McDougall for their help with the study. We also thank Jennifer Siemon for her technical assistance with the preparation of this manuscript.


Developmental coordination disorder (DCD) is a chronic disability that impacts children's performance of everyday motor-based activities and is associated with the development of secondary social and mental health problems. The purpose of this study was to investigate peer victimization and depression in children who were and were not at risk for DCD. Selected from a population-based sample, 159 at-risk fifth graders were matched for age and gender to 159 controls. Children completed measures of depression and frequency of peer victimization. Results showed that children at risk for DCD reported more symptoms of depression and more frequent verbal and relational victimization than their peers. Being at risk for DCD and being bullied more frequently, especially relationally, significantly predicted increased depression symptoms. Findings highlight the importance of school psychologists remaining aware that children with DCD are at increased risk of experiencing bullying and depression. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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