Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD): Relevance for Clinical Psychologists in Europe


  • Emily J. Meachon Orcid
  • Martina Zemp Orcid
  • Georg W. Alpers Orcid


Background: Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) is a common neurodevelopmental disorder primarily characterized by fine and gross motor coordination difficulties. Yet, many aspects remain unclear regarding the clinical presentation of secondary symptoms and their implications for Clinical Psychology. Therefore, the purpose of this review is to provide an update about the current understanding of DCD for clinical psychologists and psychotherapists across Europe, particularly based on new insights stemming from the last decade of research.

Method: We provide a narrative review of articles published in the last decade on the topic of DCD, and relevant aspects to clinical psychologist, including lesser known aspects of DCD (e.g., executive functions, psychological consequences, and adult DCD).

Results: DCD is a highly prevalent, disruptive, and complex disorder, which should be investigated further in many areas (e.g., co-occurrence to ADHD). Existing evidence points toward a key role of executive functioning difficulties at all ages. Most patients report secondary psychological problems, but little headway has been made in examining the effectiveness of psychotherapy for DCD.

Conclusions: Insights and remaining research gaps are discussed. It is critical for psychologists and clinical researchers to raise awareness for DCD, take note of the growing literature, and foster continued interdisciplinary approaches to research and treatment of DCD.