Research Article  |   December 2017
Sensory Processing in the General Population: Adaptability, Resiliency, and Challenging Behavior
Author Affiliations
  • Evan E. Dean, PhD, OTR, is Assistant Professor, Department of Occupational Therapy Education, University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City; edean2@kumc.edu
  • Lauren Little, PhD, OTR, is Assistant Professor, Rush University, Chicago, IL
  • Scott Tomchek, PhD, OTR, FAOTA, is Professor and Assistant Director, Weisskopf Center, University of Louisville School of Medicine, KY
  • Winnie Dunn, PhD, OTR, FAOTA, is Distinguished Professor, University of Missouri, Columbia
Article Information
Pediatric Evaluation and Intervention / Sensory Integration and Processing / Special Section: Research Articles
Research Article   |   December 2017
Sensory Processing in the General Population: Adaptability, Resiliency, and Challenging Behavior
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, December 2017, Vol. 72, 7201195060p1-7201195060p8. doi:10.5014/ajot.2018.019919
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, December 2017, Vol. 72, 7201195060p1-7201195060p8. doi:10.5014/ajot.2018.019919
Abstract

Sensory processing is a personal trait that can contribute to challenging behavior. Protective factors, such as resiliency, can support children in managing their behavior, yet little research has addressed the contribution of sensory processing to protective factors. Therefore, in this cross-sectional study we aimed to determine the contribution of sensory processing (using the Sensory Profile–2) to challenging behavior and protective factors (using the Behavior Assessment System for Children, 2nd ed., Parent Rating Scales) in a sample of 51 children ages 6–11 yr from the general U.S. population. The results indicated that sensory avoiding predicts externalizing behaviors, depression, resiliency, and adaptability. In addition, sensory seeking is related to depression and resiliency, whereas sensory sensitivity is related to externalizing behaviors. Implications for occupational therapy research and practice are discussed.