Early life events and motor development in childhood and adolescence: a longitudinal study

T. Grace, M. Bulsara, Monique Robinson, B. Hands

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


©2015 Foundation Acta Pædiatrica. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.Aim Few studies have reported on early life risk factors for motor development outcomes past childhood. Antenatal, perinatal and neonatal factors affecting motor development from late childhood to adolescence were explored. As sex differences in motor development have been previously reported, males and females were examined separately. Methods Participants (n = 2868) were from the Western Australian Pregnancy Cohort Study. Obstetric and neonatal data were examined to determine factors related to motor development at 10 (n = 1622), 14 (n = 1584) and 17 (n = 1221) years. The Neuromuscular Development Index (NDI) of the McCarron Assessment of Motor Development determined offspring motor proficiency. Linear mixed models were developed to allow for changes in motor development over time. Results Maternal pre-eclampsia, Caesarean section and low income were negatively related to male and female motor outcomes. Lower percentage of optimal birthweight was related to a lower male NDI. Younger maternal age, smoking during early pregnancy and stress during later pregnancy were related to lower female NDIs. Conclusion Events experienced during pregnancy were related to motor development into late adolescence. Males and females were influenced differently by antenatal and perinatal risk factors; this may be due to sex-specific developmental pathways.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e219-e227
JournalActa Paediatrica, International Journal of Paediatrics
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2016


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