Life Experiences of Adolescents

It is known that the movement difficulties of DCD persist into adolescence and adulthood. Although the impact of the disorder in the early school years has been described in the research literature, less is known about the impact of DCD in the later years.

The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore the effects of coordination difficulties during adolescence and young adulthood. Through in-depth interviews, detailed information was gathered about the experiences of nine young adults as they reflected back on their adolescence and the impact of their coordination difficulties.

Results of this study indicate the presence of strong pathways of resilience for these participants with the use of cognitive and behavioural strategies to manage their coordination difficulties. These results encourage a shift from impairment-based interventions to ecological interventions that actively promote social and community participation.

This study was funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long Term Care.


Missiuna, C., Moll, S., King, G., Stewart, D. & Macdonald, K. (2008). Life experiences of young adults who have coordination difficulties. Canadian Journal of Occupational Therapy, 75(3):157-66.