Free
Research Article  |   May 1995
A Phenomenological Study of Sensory Defensiveness in Adults
Author Affiliations
  • Moya Kinnealey, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA, is Assistant Professor, occupational Therapy Department, College of Allied Health Professions, Temple University, 3307 North Broad Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19140
  • Barbara Oliver, MS, OTR/L, is Associate Professor, Health Sciences Division, Utica College of Syracuse University, Utica, New York
  • Patricia Wilbarger, MEd, OTR, FAOTA, is a private practitioner in Santa Barbara, California
Article Information
Complementary/Alternative Approaches / Research
Research Article   |   May 1995
A Phenomenological Study of Sensory Defensiveness in Adults
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, May 1995, Vol. 49, 444-451. doi:10.5014/ajot.49.5.444
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, May 1995, Vol. 49, 444-451. doi:10.5014/ajot.49.5.444
Abstract

This article describes the experiences of five adults who are defensive toward sensations of touch, movement, vision, smell, sound, and taste that most people consider harmless. It also describes the strategies that they use when they perceive environmental stimuli to be aversive. These coping strategies are avoidance, predictability, mental preparation, talking through, counteraction, and confrontation. A conceptual framework is presented to enhance understanding and guide further study of sensory defensiveness in adults.