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Environ Health Prev Med. 2006 Mar;11(2):55-64. doi: 10.1007/BF02898143.

Motor development of Japanese twins in childhood as reported by mothers.

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Department of Health Science, Ishikawa Prefectural Nursing University, Tsu 7-1 Nakanuma, 929-1212, Kahoku, Ishikawa, Japan,



Twins tend to lag behind singletons in their motor development, though the causes of this appear to be complicated and are not yet fully understood. The present study was performed to clarify the factors associated with the motor development of twins.


The twins in the first group consisted of school applicants, including 1131 twin pairs, and the second group consisted of children of members of several maternal associations, and included 951 pairs. All data were gathered by questionnaire survey, and six gross-motor development milestones were analyzed in individuals or pairs.


Relative to general population norms in Japan, twins tended to be delayed in reaching several motor development milestones. Stepwise regression analysis showed that of all the variables measured, gestational age was the most influential on all six milestones. Birthweight was also influential on most milestones. Other factors affecting motor development milestones were parity for 'sitting without support,' 'pulling up to a standing position,' and 'walking without support,' and zygosity for 'walking without support.' In these cases, longer gestational age, heavier birthweighf, primiparity, and dizygosity showed a tendency toward earlier attainment of development. Motor development within pairs was more similar in monozygotic pairs compared with dizygotic pairs regarding each item, suggesting genetic contributions.


The results of the present study showed specific and nonspecific factors that affect motor development of twins. These findings should prove useful in understanding the motor development of twin children and help clinicians to refine maternal and child health care for multiple-birth children.


database; maternal and child health care; motor development; twins; zygosity

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