Left-handness and Psychiatric Disorders in Children

A study recently published in the journal Laterality: Asymmetries of Body, Brain and Cognition analysed left-handed children treated in an urban mental health clinic to investigate the frequency and severity of psychiatric disorders compared to right-handed peers. Data on handedness, diagnoses, hospitalizations and severity of mental disorders were collected on 692 consecutive children, 4–18 years old (M = 10.1, SD = 3.2), referred for psychiatric evaluation. Left-handed children were 18.2% of patients in the study, a rate significantly higher than left-hand dominance in the USA (p < .05). Compared to children with right-handedness, logistic regression analysis yielded 31% [odds ratio (OR) = 1.31, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.15–1.50] higher odds of having more psychiatric diagnosis, 70% (OR = 1.70, 95% CI: 1.10–2.62) increased odds of anxiety, 53% (OR = 1.53, 95% CI: 1.03–2.27) increased odds of depression and 78% (OR = 1.78, 95% CI: 1.21–2.62) increased odds of oppositional defiant disorder for children who were left-handed. Left-handed children had increased odds of being prescribed antipsychotic and anxiolytic medication uses, 53% and 86% increased odds, respectively, and 66% (OR = 1.66, 95% CI: 1.08–2.55) increased odds of psychiatric hospitalizations. Left-handedness was a phenotypic risk factor for psychiatric disorders and increased severity of psychiatric disorders.

For the abstract.


Related Stories

  • Doctors Baffled by Bizarre "Deja Vu" Case
  • Defending the Right to Sick Leave
  • Life In The Sandwich Generation


The information provided on the PsyWeb.com is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between a patient/site visitor and his/her health professional. This information is solely for informational and educational purposes. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Neither the owners or employees of PsyWeb.com nor the author(s) of site content take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading this site. Always speak with your primary health care provider before engaging in any form of self treatment. Please see our Legal Statement for further information.

PsyWeb Poll

Are you currently taking or have you ever been prescribed anti-depressants?
Total votes: 3979