The development and validation of the “SENSE” − Sensory and Behavioral Modulation Questionnaire for adults

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Sensory modulation is critical for interacting with the physical and social environment. When sensory input from the environment is not properly perceived and modulated, it may elevate arausability, avoidant behavior, impair function and wellbeing. Sensory modulation difficulties (SMD) are mainly reported during childhood and are related to neurodevelopmental conditions such as Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). SMD in adulthood further deteriorate function and emotional status, hence should be screened and treated. Nonetheless, relevant measures of SMD for adults are limited. This study aims to establish the psychometric properties of the “SENSE” - Sensory and Behavioral Modulation Questionnaire for adults. Based on theoretical/clinical knowledge the SENSE measures sensitivity/arousability, habituation and avoidance. After establishing content and face validity, 663 participants aged 18–65 completed a sociodemographic and health questionnaire, the Adult ADHD Scale-5 (ASRS-5), the SENSE and the Highly Sensitive Person Scale (HSPS). Factor analysis approved the determination of SENSE scales. Medium- high internal consistency was found. SENSE discriminated between adults with/without ADHD and correlated with HSPS scores, confirming concurrent validity. Conclusions: SENSE has good psychometric properties and may be feasible for screening sensory-behavioral modulation difficulties in adults. Studies should further examine SENSE applicability to clinical populations.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104715
JournalResearch in Developmental Disabilities
StatePublished - Apr 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 Elsevier Ltd


  • Behavioral modulation
  • Daily functioning
  • Measures
  • Screening
  • Sensory processing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology


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