Title: Do Motor Abilities Predict ADHD Symptoms in Preschoolers with FXS?
Objectives: In the present study, we examined whether motor abilities, moderated by ADOS severity scores, were predictive of ADHD symptomatology in a group of preschoolers with FXS. We then examined whether fine motor and gross motor abilities, also moderated by ADOS severity scores, were predictive of ADHD symptomatology in preschoolers with FXS.
Methods: Participants included 36 preschool aged children with FXS. The Child Behavior Checklist 1½-5 ADHD-DSM subscale raw scores (CBCL) were used to assess the presence ADHD symptoms between 36-60 months of age. Both measures were collected at the same time. Broad motor abilities were measured by the Motor scale standard scores from the Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scale (VABS). Fine Motor and Gross Motor Scales raw scores were also used from the VABS.
Results: Results for the regression model testing broad motor skills predicting ADHD indicated that there were no significant associations between motor and ADHD, and that autism symptom severity did not moderate this association, though the overall model approached significance (p = .105; R2 = .172). We followed up with two subsequent models to detect whether fine and gross motor skills individually predicted ADHD outcomes, however, no significant associations were found (p’s > .05).
Conclusions: Study findings suggest that motor abilities may lead to developmental outcomes other than ADHD for preschoolers with FXS. Although neither fine motor nor gross motor was significantly associated with concurrent ADHD outcomes in preschool (i.e., 36 to 60 months), motor development in infancy may contribute to later ADHD outcomes for children with FXS. Future work should delineate early developmental pathways to ADHD and identify developmental outcomes related to early motor abilities in children with FXS.