Free
Poster Session
Issue Date: August 2016
Published Online: August 01, 2016
Updated: January 01, 2021
The Effects of Abnormal Sensory Processing and Maladaptive Behaviors of Children on Parent Participation in Occupations
Author Affiliations
  • Misericordia University
Article Information
Sensory Integration and Processing / Basic Research
Poster Session   |   August 01, 2016
The Effects of Abnormal Sensory Processing and Maladaptive Behaviors of Children on Parent Participation in Occupations
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, August 2016, Vol. 70, 7011505156. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2016.70S1-PO5070
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, August 2016, Vol. 70, 7011505156. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2016.70S1-PO5070
Abstract

Date Presented 4/8/2016

This study used correlation and regression analyses to explore effects of children’s abnormal sensory processing and maladaptive behaviors on parent participation. Clinical implications and future directions are discussed.

Primary Author and Speaker: Elaina DaLomba

Contributing Authors: Mary Frances Baxter, Anne E. O’Donnell, Gayle Hersch

PURPOSE: We wanted to explore the effects of abnormal sensory processing and maladaptive behaviors of young children with disabilities on their parent’s ability to participate in occupations.
Research questions included do levels of sensory processing correlate with parent participation in occupations and do levels of maladaptive behavior correlate with parent participation in occupations?
RATIONALE: Family members are interdependent, and each member’s characteristics and actions affect the quality of their interactions. Individual participation can be disrupted due to behaviors of one member; therefore, assessment of all family members’ participation in occupations is critical. Parents of children with developmental delays (DD) report increased levels of stress and life disruption due to sensory abnormalities and behavioral problems. There is little research into how parent participation in occupations is disrupted by these issues.
DESIGN: Quantitative correlation study
PARTICIPANTS: We recruited 43 parents of children ages 7–36 mo who received occupational therapy for DDs and identified sensory processing abnormalities or behavioral issues from Texas Early Childhood Intervention and outpatient clinics. Children with genetic disorders, or without identified sensory processing abnormalities or behaviors were excluded.
METHOD: We used (1) the Life Participation of Parents (LPP), a 23-item, 5-point scale tool measuring parents’ perceived ability to participate in occupations while raising a child with special needs; (2) the Infant Toddler Sensory Profile, a 48-item, 5-point scale parent questionnaire used to describe child sensory processing abilities; and (3) the Child Behavior Checklist Ages 1.5–5, a 99-item, 3-point scale questionnaire to measure seven Syndrome Scales.
ANALYSIS: We used correlation analyses to identify potential relationships between parent participation, child sensory processing, and behavior. Multiple regression analysis was used to identify predictability of relationships between behaviors and parent participation.
RESULTS: Data from 43 respondents showed no relationships between parent participation in occupations and child sensory processing. Anxious/depressed behavior (R = .388, p < .05), sleep behavior (R = –.339, p < .05), and Aggressive behaviors (R = –.359, p < .05) had weak, inverse relationships to parent participation. No significant predictive nature between these was found. Most children were noted to display low registration probable/definite differences “more than others” (88%) and attention problems (67%) at clinical levels.
DISCUSSION: Although no relationships were found between sensory processing and parent participation in occupations, weak, inverse relationships were found with anxious/depressed, sleep, and aggressive behaviors. frequencies revealed pervasive issues of low registration and attention problems. Maladaptive behaviors and abnormal sensory processing present significant problems for children and are significant concerns of parents.
IMPACT STATEMENT: Relationships between child behavior and parent participation suggest therapists can help parents recognize behaviors and their impact on participation and more effectively intervene. Children who display low registration and attention problems are an appropriate focus of future intervention studies.