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Research Article  |   November 1998
Patterns of Sensory Integration Dysfunction: A Confirmatory Factor Analysis
Author Affiliations
  • Shelley Mulligan, PhD, OTR/L, is Assistant Professor, Occupational Therapy Department, School of Health and Human Services, University of New Hampshire, Hewitt Hall, 4 Library Way, Durham, New Hampshire 03824-3563
Article Information
Sensory Integration and Processing / Research
Research Article   |   November 1998
Patterns of Sensory Integration Dysfunction: A Confirmatory Factor Analysis
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, November/December 1998, Vol. 52, 819-828. doi:10.5014/ajot.52.10.819
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, November/December 1998, Vol. 52, 819-828. doi:10.5014/ajot.52.10.819
Abstract

Objective. This study evaluated a five factor model of sensory integration dysfunction on the basis of scores of children on the Sensory Integration and Praxis Tests (SIPT).The purpose of the study was to determine a plausible model for understanding sensory integration dysfunction.

Method. The hypothesized model of sensory integration dysfunction tested was derived from previous multivariate analyses and consisted of five patterns of dysfunction, including: bilateral integration and sequencing, somatosensory, somatopraxis, visuopraxis, and postural ocular motor. Confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) of the SIPT scores of 10,475 children and the scores of a subgroup of 995 children with learning disabilities were used to evaluate the model.

Results. The CFA of the hypothesized model indicated numerous weaknesses with it and, therefore, was rejected. Exploratory factor analysis (EFA) was then performed with the same data set to identify a better-fitting, more parsimonious model o/sensory integration dysfunction. A second-order, four-factor model using generalized practic dysfunction as the second-order factor and four first-order factors (dyspraxia, bilateral integration and sequencing deficit, visuoperceptual deficit, somatosensory deficit) were pro-posed. The CFA supported this model as the better-fitting model. The proposed model held true when tested with the subgroup of children with learning disabilities.

Conclusions. The modified model of sensory integration dysfunction proposed indicated that it was a good fit for the data and improved on the initial model. Clinical implications of the findings relate to the interpretation of SIPT scores and provide suggestions for test development measuring sensory integration functions. The proposed model has applications for occupational therapy intervention using sensory integration as the primary frame of reference.