Mixed-handed kids likely to have mental health, language problems

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Washington, Jan 25 (ANI): Children who use both hands with equal ease are more likely to have mental health, language and scholastic problems than right- or left-handed kids, says a new study.

Published in the journal Pediatrics, the study researchers, from Imperial College London and other European institutions, suggest that the finding may help teachers and health professionals to identify children who are particularly at risk of developing certain problems.

To reach the conclusion, researchers looked at nearly 8,000 children, 87 of whom were mixed-handed. They found that mixed-handed 7 and 8-year old children were twice as likely as their right-handed peers to have difficulties with language and to perform poorly in school.

When they reached 15 or 16, mixed-handed adolescents were also at twice the risk of having symptoms of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). They were also likely to have more severe symptoms of ADHD than their right-handed counterparts.

The adolescents also reported having greater difficulties with language than those who were left- or right-handed.

Dr Alina Rodriguez, the lead researcher on the study from the School of Public Health at Imperial College London, said: "Mixed-handedness is intriguing - we don't know why some people prefer to make use of both hands when most people use only one. Our study is interesting because it suggests that some children who are mixed handed experience greater difficulties in school than their left- and right-handed friends. We think that there are differences in the brain that might explain these difficulties, but there needs to be more research.

"Because mixed-handedness is such a rare condition, the number of mixed-handed children we were able to study was relatively small, but our results are statistically and clinically significant. That said, our results should not be taken to mean that all children who are mixed-handed will have problems at school or develop ADHD. We found that mixed-handed children and adolescents were at a higher risk of having certain problems, but we'd like to stress that most of the mixed-handed children we followed didn't have any of these difficulties," added Dr Rodriguez. (ANI)

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