Relationships among Sensory Responsiveness, Anxiety, and Ritual Behaviors in Children with and without Atypical Sensory Responsiveness

Orit Bart*, Tami Bar-Shalita, Hanin Mansour, Reuven Dar

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Aim: To explore relationships between sensory responsiveness, anxiety, and ritual behaviors in boys with typical and atypical sensory responsiveness. Method: Forty-eight boys, ages 5–9 participated in the study (28 boys with atypical sensory responsiveness and 20 controls). Atypical sensory responsiveness was defined as a score of ≤154 on the Short Sensory Profile. Parents completed the Sensory Profile, the Screen for Child Anxiety Related Emotional Disorders, and the Childhood Routines Inventory. Results: Children with atypical sensory responsiveness had significantly higher levels of anxiety and a higher frequency of ritual behaviors than controls. Atypical sensory responsiveness was significantly related to both anxiety and ritual behaviors, with anxiety mediating the relationship between sensory modulation and ritual behaviors. Conclusions: The findings elucidate the potential consequences of atypical sensory responsiveness and could support the notion that ritual behaviors develop as a coping mechanism in response to anxiety stemming from primary difficulty in modulating sensory input.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)322-331
Number of pages10
JournalPhysical and Occupational Therapy in Pediatrics
Volume37
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 27 May 2017

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