Deborah A. Whitcomb, Ricardo C. Carrasco, Ariela Neuman, Heidi Kloos; Correlational Research to Examine the Relation Between Attachment and Sensory Modulation in Young Children. Am J Occup Ther 2015;69(4):6904220020. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2015.015503
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© 2020 American Occupational Therapy Association
This study investigated whether a relation exists between attachment and sensory modulation in young children. Participants were 68 children ages 3–6 yr recruited through the local community. Caregivers were asked to complete a standardized behavioral inventory of sensory modulation patterns, and parent–child interactions were observed in their home. The evaluator categorized these interactions on the basis of items related to attachment security and dependency. Results revealed modest correlations between attachment and sensory modulation: rs (66) = .28, p = .02. The capacity to predict sensory modulation function by attachment characteristics and the capacity to predict attachment characteristics by sensory modulation function was significant but small (p < .05). These findings supporting a relation between attachment and sensory modulation should be considered when assessing and planning treatment of children with problems in one or both of these areas.
Intervention that affects change in a child’s sensory modulation may create change in the child’s attachment relationship, and, conversely, change in the attachment relationship may affect sensory modulation.
Occupational therapy practitioners may find it useful to consider both inter- and intrarelational factors as they serve children and families.
The child’s primary attachment figure may be a valuable tool in the treatment process.
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