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Research Article  |   June 1986
The Development of a Touch Scale for Measuring Tactile Defensiveness in Children
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Charlotte Brasic Royeen, PhD, OTR, is an Education Research Analyst with the Office of Special Education Programs, U.S. Department of Education, Washington, DC 20202, and a faculty member of Sensory Integration International. At the time the study was conducted, she was an Assistant Professor of Occupational Therapy at Howard University
Article Information
Complementary/Alternative Approaches / Children and Youth
Research Article   |   June 1986
The Development of a Touch Scale for Measuring Tactile Defensiveness in Children
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, June 1986, Vol. 40, 414-419. doi:10.5014/ajot.40.6.414
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, June 1986, Vol. 40, 414-419. doi:10.5014/ajot.40.6.414
Abstract

A three-phase study was conducted to develop an attitude scale measuring tactile defensiveness in children aged 6 to 10 years. It was assumed that the effects of tactile defensiveness on the perception and behavior of children produces stereotypical responses that can be measured by an attitude scale. A 49-item scale was developed and administered to 80 normal and 22 tactually defensive children within a large suburban school district. A subsequent item analysis reduced the scale to 26 items. This touch scale yielded an internal consistency reliability of .79432 and could distinguish between groups at a statistically significant level (.0073). The touch scale offers potential for diagnosing tactually defensive children. However, future research is required before it can be employed as a diagnostic tool. Such research could focus on the test-retest reliability of the scale and the refinement of the diagnostic validity of the test.