Language and reading impairments are associated with increased prevalence of non‐right‐handedness

Filippo Abbondanza, Philip S. Dale, Carol A. Wang, Marianna E. Hayiou‐Thomas, Umar Toseeb, Tanner S. Koomar, Karen G. Wigg, Yu Feng, Kaitlyn M. Price, Elizabeth N. Kerr, Sharon L. Guger, Maureen W. Lovett, Lisa J. Strug, Elsje van Bergen, Conor V. Dolan, J. Bruce Tomblin, Kristina Moll, Gerd Schulte‐Körne, Nina Neuhoff, Andreas WarnkeSimon E. Fisher, Cathy L. Barr, Jacob J. Michaelson, Dorret I. Boomsma, Margaret J. Snowling, Charles Hulme, Andrew J. O. Whitehouse, Craig E. Pennell, Dianne F. Newbury, John Stein, Joel B. Talcott, Dorothy V. M. Bishop, Silvia Paracchini*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Handedness has been studied for association with language‐related disorders because of its link with language hemispheric dominance. No clear pattern has emerged, possibly because of small samples, publication bias, and heterogeneous criteria across studies. Non‐right‐handedness (NRH) frequency was assessed in N = 2503 cases with reading and/or language impairment and N = 4316 sex‐matched controls identified from 10 distinct cohorts (age range 6–19 years old; European ethnicity) using a priori set criteria. A meta‐analysis (Ncases = 1994) showed elevated NRH % in individuals with language/reading impairment compared with controls (OR = 1.21, CI = 1.06–1.39, p = .01). The association between reading/language impairments and NRH could result from shared pathways underlying brain lateralization, handedness, and cognitive functions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)970-984
Number of pages15
JournalChild Development
Issue number4
Early online date13 Feb 2023
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2023

Bibliographical note

Copyright © 2023 The Authors. Child Development published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of Society for Research in Child Development.

This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Research Funding: Silvia Paracchini and Filippo Abbondanza are funded by the Royal Society (UF150663; RGF\EA\180141). The UK Medical Research Council and Wellcome (Grant ref: 217065/Z/19/Z) and the University of Bristol provide
core support for ALSPAC. This publication is the work of the authors and will serve as guarantors for the contents of this paper. A comprehensive list of grants funding is available on the ALSPAC website: http://www.brist c/exter nal/docum ents/grant-acknowledgements.pdf. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript. Elsje van Bergen was supported
by NWO VENI fellowship 451-15- 017. Support for the Toronto cohort collection was provided by grants from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (MOP-133440). K.M.P. was supported by the Hospital for Sick Children
Research Training Program (Restracomp). Simon Fisher is funded by the Max Planck Society. Dorothy Bishop is funded by European Research Council Advanced Grant 694189. Andrew Whitehouse is supported by an Investigator Grant from the National Health and Medical Research Council (1173896). The Raine Study was supported by the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia (grant numbers 572613, 403981, 1059711), and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (grant number MOP-82893). The Multicenter
Study Marburg/Würzburg cohort was funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG).


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