DEVELOPMENTAL MEDICINE & CHILD NEUROLOGY ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Health-related quality of life and peer relationships in
adolescents with developmental coordination disorder and
1 Department of Pediatrics, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB; 2 Department of Community Health Sciences, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB; 3 Behavioural
Research Unit, Alberta Children’s Hospital, Calgary, AB; 4 Owerko Centre at the Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB;
5 Bachelor of Health Sciences Program, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB, Canada.
Correspondence to Deborah Dewey at #397 Child Development Centre, 2500 University Dr. NW, Calgary, AB T2N 1N4, Canada. E-mail: email@example.com
This article is commented on by Cairney on page 643 of this issue.
Accepted for publication 13th February
Published online 3rd April 2018.
DCD Developmental coordination
HRQoL Health-related quality of life
PRQ Peer Relations Questionnaire
Health-related quality of life (HRQoL) and peer relationships were investigated in
adolescents with developmental coordination disorder (DCD) and attention-deﬁcit–
hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Adolescents with DCD (n=9), ADHD (n=9), DCD and ADHD (n=10), and typically
developing adolescents (n=16) completed the following questionnaires: KIDSCREEN-52
Health-Related Quality of Life Questionnaire and Peer Relations Questionnaire for Children.
Twenty-ﬁve participants took part in semi-structured interviews.
Adolescents with DCD and ADHD had lower HRQoL on the mood and emotions,
school environment, and ﬁnancial resources scales of the KIDSCREEN-52 than adolescents in
the DCD and typically developing groups (all p<0.05). On the Peer Relations Questionnaire for
Children, the DCD and ADHD group reported signiﬁcantly higher victimization compared with
those in the typically developing (p=0.030) and DCD (p=0.010) groups. Qualitative interviews
among young people with DCD and ADHD revealed feelings of marginalization and
victimization. Descriptors such as ‘misﬁts’, ‘oddballs’, ‘weird’, and ‘the rejects’ were used to
HRQoL and peer relationships are negatively affected in adolescents with
DCD and ADHD.
Health-related quality of life (HRQoL) is a multidimen-
sional concept that commonly refers to subjectively per-
ceived well-being and satisfaction within three broad
domains of health: physical, psychological, and social.
systematic review on HRQoL in children with attention-
deﬁcit–hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) found that accord-
ing to parent ratings, HRQoL was signiﬁcantly impaired
in children with ADHD, and associated with the presence
of co-occurring disorders.
Children with co-occurring
developmental coordination disorder (DCD) and ADHD
have also been found to have signiﬁcantly lower HRQoL
compared with typically developing children in physical,
cognitive, and psychosocial functioning.
study has investigated HRQoL in children with DCD
only, but because DCD can have profound effects on a
number of aspects of children’s lives, one could expect that
it would affect HRQoL.
Young adults with co-occurring DCD and ADHD are at
increased risk for mental health problems, criminality, sub-
stance abuse, lower educational attainment, and poorer
psychosocial functioning than those without coexisting
A large European study that assessed multiple
factors associated with HRQoL among children and ado-
lescents with ADHD found that the presence of peer prob-
lems and emotional problems was strongly associated with
poor HRQoL outcomes.
Furthermore, a study by Schei
found that higher HRQoL was associated with bet-
ter social resources (e.g. peer relationships) in adolescents
with ADHD. The ability to socialize properly and form
relationships with peers is compromised in adolescents
with ADHD and DCD.
However, no research has speciﬁ-
cally examined the association between HRQoL and peer
relationships in adolescents with DCD and co-occurring
DCD and ADHD.
Typically, research on HRQoL and peer relationships in
individuals with DCD and ADHD has used self-report or
proxy-report (i.e. parent, teacher) rating scales from which
quantitative data are abstracted. Qualitative methods, how-
ever, could offer insights into the individual experiences
and perceptions of adolescents in relation to HRQoL and
peer relationships that are not easily accessible through
Given that DCD and co-occurring DCD and ADHD
are prevalent in approximately 5% to 6% of the general
© 2018 Mac Keith Press DOI: 10.1111/dmcn.13753 711