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This aim of this study was to investigate an unexpected finding from a larger study examining the play of preschool children with and without developmental coordination disorder (DCD). We found that children with DCD were more frequently involved in aggressive incidents during free-play than their peers. Children with (n=32) and without DCD (n=31) were videotaped during free-play at preschool and their play was assessed using the Play Observation Scale. A post hoc analysis was conducted using a specifically developed rating instrument to examine the aggressive incidents captured on video. Videos from 18 children with DCD and 8 typically developing children without DCD were found to contain aggressive incidents. Children with DCD were significantly more often involved as both aggressor (p=016) and victim (p=008) than children without DCD (p=031). This is the first study to identify victimization and aggression as being problematic for children with DCD as young as 4 years of age and needs replication. Given the negative consequences of involvement in aggression and victimization, play-based early intervention focusing on prevention needs to be developed and implemented. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Original publication




Journal article


Research in Developmental Disabilities

Publication Date





2831 - 2837