Predicting fears of intimacy among individuals with post-traumatic stress symptoms by their sensory profile

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: The purpose of the research was: (1) to compare fears of intimacy between people with post-traumatic stress symptoms and healthy controls; (2) to examine the relationships between sensory processing patterns and fears of intimacy among people with post-traumatic stress symptoms; (3) to examine the ability of post-traumatic stress symptoms and sensory processing patterns to predict fears of intimacy. Method: The study consisted of 60 people between 24 and 62 years old. Thirty of the participants had post-traumatic stress symptoms and the other 30 were healthy controls. All participants were involved in an intimate relationship. Participants completed the Post-traumatic Stress Disorder Symptom Scale, the Adolescent/Adult Sensory Profile, and the Fear of Close Personal Relationship Questionnaire. Findings: Higher prevalence of extreme sensory sensitivity, avoidance, and low registration was found among the study group. These patterns significantly correlated with impaired emotional responses associated with intimacy. Low registration and group membership predicted fears of intimacy. Conclusion: Sensory processing difficulties may contribute to the impaired intimate relationships of people with post-traumatic stress symptoms. Occupational therapists may help people with post-traumatic stress symptoms to be aware of their sensory processing difficulties and their impact on social/intimate relationships. This awareness may contribute to the person's ability to cope with post-traumatic stress symptoms, enable better emotional performance, and elevate quality of life.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)51-57
Number of pages7
JournalBritish Journal of Occupational Therapy
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2014.


  • Intimate relationships
  • Post-traumatic stress
  • Sensory processing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Occupational Therapy


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