The association between sensory traits and daily parenting challenges of typical mothers and their children

Liat Gafni-Lachter, Joanna Kailkian, Vered Korngold-Dvir, Gil Dahan, Ayelett Ben-Sasson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Sensory modulation impacts daily family life; however, parents’ sensory traits are rarely considered and analysed together with their child’s. This study aimed to: (1) determine the association between healthy child and mother sensory modulation traits and (2) examine how these traits interact in predicting daily parenting challenges. Method: Seventy-three healthy mothers of typically developing 3–6-year-old children completed the Short Sensory Profile, Adult/Adolescent Sensory Profile and Parenting Daily Hassles questionnaires. Mother and child sensory over-responsivity (SOR), under-responsivity (SUR) and seeking traits were entered as predictors of frequency of daily hassles. Results: Mother and child’s SOR and SUR traits were significantly associated (r =.33 and.25, respectively). The frequency of parenting challenges was significantly associated with both mother and child’s sensory seeking (r =.25 and.26, respectively). A mediation model demonstrated a significant indirect effect of mother SOR on the frequency of daily hassles (β =.26, p <.05), with the child’s SOR (β =.33, p <.01), and seeking behaviours (β =.48, p <.001) mediating this effect. Conclusion: Mothers with elevated sensory traits of children with elevated sensory traits are likely to experience higher frequencies of daily parenting burden, even within the typical population. Therapists who wish to practice a developmental and family-centred approach should assess how the mother–child sensory traits interact and how this interaction can influence the family’s well-being.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)438-445
Number of pages8
JournalBritish Journal of Occupational Therapy
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2021.


  • family
  • mediation
  • modulation
  • parenting
  • sensory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Occupational Therapy


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