The relationship between sensory processing difficulties and anxiety level of healthy adults

Batya Engel-Yeger, Winnie Dunn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: The purpose of the study was to examine the relationship between extreme sensory reactivity as expressed in daily living situations, and trait and state anxiety, among healthy individuals. Procedures: One hundred and thirty-five healthy individuals filled in the Adolescent/Adult Sensory Profile regarding their responses to daily sensory experiences. Anxiety was assessed by Spielberger's State-Trait Anxiety Inventory. Findings: Participants with sensory hypersensitivity, as well as those with Low Registration of sensory input, showed elevated trait anxiety and state anxiety. Men with lower registration had more elevated trait anxiety than women. Sensation Avoiding was found to be the significant predictor for state anxiety. Conclusion: Trait anxiety and state anxiety might be related to extreme sensory processing patterns. Occupational therapy intervention with people who express enhanced anxiety level should refer to their sensory reactivity as a means to optimise intervention outcomes, increase their self-confidence, improve their functioning and participation in daily living, and enhance their wellbeing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)210-216
Number of pages7
JournalBritish Journal of Occupational Therapy
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2011


  • Mental health
  • Sensory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Occupational Therapy


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