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Laterality, hand control and scholastic performance: a British birth cohort study
Psychiatric Research Centre, Örebro County Council, Örebro, Sweden; Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Division of Psychiatry, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.
Örebro University Hospital, Örebro, Sweden. (Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics)
Stress Research Institute, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden.
Örebro University, School of Health and Medical Sciences, Örebro University, Sweden. Clinical Epidemiology Unit, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden; Department of Primary Care and Public Health, Charing Cross Hospital, Imperial College, London, UK. (Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics)ORCID iD: 0000-0001-6328-5494
2012 (English)In: BMJ Open, ISSN 2044-6055, E-ISSN 2044-6055, Vol. 2, no 2, article id e000314Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Objectives: To use simple measures of laterality and hand control that can identify a greater risk of poorer scholastic ability, potentially signalling suboptimal hemispheric lateralisation.

Design: Analysis of material from a birth cohort study.

Setting: Members of the National Child Development Study, a British birth cohort study following people born in 1958.

Participants: 10 612 children who undertook tests at age 11 years.

Primary outcome measures: Teacher-administered tests of non-verbal general ability, verbal general ability, reading comprehension and mathematics.

Results: Linear regression produced associations (and 95% CIs) with tests of verbal general ability, non-verbal general ability, reading comprehension and mathematics scores for the lowest third (compared with highest) of a left-hand control test involving picking up matches of -1.21 (-1.73 to -0.68; p<0.001), -0.72 (-1.14 to -0.29; p=0.001), -0.70 (-1.06 to -0.35; p<0.001) and -1.32 (-1.90 to -0.73; p<0.001). Among those in the lowest third of the right-hand control test score, mixed-handedness compared with right-handedness was associated with poorer scholastic performance, with regression coefficients (and 95% CIs; p values) of 1.90 (-3.01 to -0.80; p=0.001), -1.25 (-2.15 to -0.35; p=0.007), -1.28 (2.04 to -0.53; p=0.001) and -1.33 (-2.53 to -0.13; p=0.030). The estimates are for a point change in the scholastic test scores, after adjustment for sex, left-hand motor function and social class. Statistically significant associations with mixed-handedness were only observed for the lowest third of right-hand motor function.

Conclusions: Measures involving poorer left-hand motor function may represent useful markers of reduced cognitive function possibly reflecting suboptimal hemispheric lateralisation. Crude measures of laterality such as reported non-right-handedness may be more useful for research when combined with measures of motor function.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
London, United Kingdom: BMJ Publishing Group Ltd, 2012. Vol. 2, no 2, article id e000314
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences Neurology
Research subject
Medicine
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-25563DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2011-000314ISI: 000315042100005PubMedID: 22446987Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84860455081OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-25563DiVA, id: diva2:548096
Available from: 2012-08-29 Created: 2012-08-29 Last updated: 2019-03-20Bibliographically approved

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Björk, TabitaBrus, OleMontgomery, Scott M.

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