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Research Article  |   April 1998
The Sensory Profile: A Discriminant Analysis of Children With and Without Disabilities
Author Affiliations
  • Julie Ermer, MS, OTR, is Coordinator of Training in Occupational Therapy, Child Development Unit, University of Kansas Medical Center, 3901 Rainbow Boulevard, Kansas City, Kansas 66160-7340
  • Winnie Dunn, PhD, FAOTA, is Professor and Chair, Department of Occupational Therapy Education, University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, Kansas
Article Information
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder / Pediatric Evaluation and Intervention / Rehabilitation, Participation, and Disability / Research
Research Article   |   April 1998
The Sensory Profile: A Discriminant Analysis of Children With and Without Disabilities
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, April 1998, Vol. 52, 283-290. doi:10.5014/ajot.52.4.283
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, April 1998, Vol. 52, 283-290. doi:10.5014/ajot.52.4.283
Abstract

Objectives. The purpose of this study was to determine which factors on the Sensory Profile, a measure of children’s responses to commonly occurring sensory experiences, best discriminate among children with autism or pervasive developmental disorder (PDD), children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and children without disabilities.

Method. Data for three groups of children 3 to 15 years of age were used: 38 children with autism or PDD, 61 with ADHD, and 1,075 without disabilities. The researchers conducted a discriminate analysis on the three groups, using group membership as the dependent variable and the nine factors of the Sensory Profile as independent variables.

Results. The analysis yielded two discriminant functions: one that differentiated children with disabilities from children without disabilities and another that differentiated the two groups of children with disabilities from each other. Nearly 90% of the cases were correctly classified with these two functions.

Conclusion. The Sensory Profile is useful for discriminating certain groups of children with disabilities. Children with disabilities are accurately classified into disability categories with the factors described by previous authors. This suggests that patterns of behavior associated with certain developmental disorders are reflected in populations of children without disabilities. It may be the frequency or intensity of certain behaviors that differentiate the groups.