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The Highly Sensitive Person: Stress and physical symptom reports

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Abstract

The Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) scale is a measure of sensory-processing sensitivity, which is conceptualized as involving both high levels of sensitivity to subtle stimuli and being easily overaroused by external stimuli. The current study examines the relationship between an individual’s sensory-processing sensitivity, self-perceived stress, and physical symptom reports. Results indicated that sensory-processing sensitivity is positively correlated with levels of stress and symptoms of ill-health. After controlling for self-perceived stress and gender, the HSP scale added significantly to a hierarchical regression model predicting self-reported health. The inclusion of an interaction term in the model proved to be non-significant, suggesting that the relationship between stress, sensory-processing sensitivity and health is best explained by an additive model. Future research examining personality factors in health and illness may benefit from the inclusion of the HSP measure.

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... After developing the HSPS, Aron and Aron (1997) researched the relationships between introversion, emotionality, and SPS. Benham (2006) then expanded the scope of studies to the relationship between SPS, stress, and ill physical health symptoms. Ten years later, Grimen and Diseth (2016) picked up the thread of physical health, this time focusing on the relationship between SPS and subjective health complaints (SHC) (headache, neck pain, backache, etc.) rather than on objectively measurable diseases (coronary heart disease, ulcer, etc.). ...
... A number of researchers have explored SPS in relation to overall health. Benham's studies suggest a correlation between symptoms of ill health and SPS that he loosely interprets while claiming that there is no clear explanation (Benham 2006(Benham , 1439. One possible explanation he does offer is that heightened sensitivity increases general physiological arousal, thus leading to a genuine chronic stress to the body with subsequent health consequences (Benham 2006(Benham , 1439. ...
... Benham's studies suggest a correlation between symptoms of ill health and SPS that he loosely interprets while claiming that there is no clear explanation (Benham 2006(Benham , 1439. One possible explanation he does offer is that heightened sensitivity increases general physiological arousal, thus leading to a genuine chronic stress to the body with subsequent health consequences (Benham 2006(Benham , 1439. However, he states that it is also possible that highly sensitive people are more aware of somatic symptoms and that they pay more attention to minor physiological sensations that others may not notice (Benham 2006(Benham , 1439). ...
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This paper examines twenty-first-century research on sensory processing sensitivity (SPS) alongside mid-nineteenth-century research on hysteria. Doing so sheds light on how we have long thought of sensorial-emotional experience as progressing along a medical narrative from cause to cure. Today’s rhetoric around the highly sensitive person (HSP) begins to diverge from the rhetoric around hysteria through the theorized cause and the dismissal of the need for a cure. When current perspectives remove the emphasis on a cure, the narrative emphasizes a broader need for social-emotional learning and cultural revision to stigma around sensitivity.
... There is a need for more studies focusing on physical health, to understand the wellbeing of sensitive people from both psychological and physical aspects. Unfortunately, while findings suggesting a link between SPS and mental health are accumulating, the relationship between individuals with high sensitivity and physical health has not yet been fully reported, with a few exceptions [17][18][19]. In one of the few findings, Behnam [17] examined the association between SPS and physical symptoms-including back pain, diarrhea, heartburn, and sore throat-in American university students. ...
... Unfortunately, while findings suggesting a link between SPS and mental health are accumulating, the relationship between individuals with high sensitivity and physical health has not yet been fully reported, with a few exceptions [17][18][19]. In one of the few findings, Behnam [17] examined the association between SPS and physical symptoms-including back pain, diarrhea, heartburn, and sore throat-in American university students. The results showed that HSP scale scores were positively associated with somatic symptoms, even after controlling for sex. ...
... Among our various indicators of physical symptoms, we address gastrointestinal symptoms for two main reasons. First, although findings are limited, previous studies of SPS have often examined its relationship to physical symptoms, particularly gastrointestinal symptoms [17][18][19]. Therefore, by focusing on gastrointestinal symptoms in this study as well, an indirect comparison with previous studies can be made. ...
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Background: Sensory processing sensitivity is a personality or temperamental trait defined as individual differences in the tendency to perceive and process both positive and negative stimuli and experiences. Studies have shown that high sensitivity is correlated with psychosocial health, including depression and anxiety. However, its relationship with physical health has not been clarified. To fill this gap, using a large sample size with sufficient statistical power, an adult sample not including university students, and a range of covariates, this study examined the association between gastrointestinal symptoms as an indicator of physical health and sensory processing sensitivity. Methods: In this cross-sectional study, the participants were 863 Japanese adults (female = 450; male = 413; Mage = 30.4 years; SD = 4.9) who completed a web-based questionnaire. We statistically controlled for sociodemographic characteristics and examined whether sensory processing sensitivity is correlated with gastrointestinal symptoms. Results: The results showed that highly sensitive individuals were more likely to experience a wide range of gastrointestinal symptoms in the past week, including reflux symptoms, abdominal pain, indigestion symptoms, diarrhea symptoms, and constipation symptoms, even when statistically controlling for the participants' sociodemographic characteristics. Conclusions: Our findings suggest that high sensory processing sensitivity is associated with physical health. Some of the potential causes of this are also discussed.
... Sensory processing sensitivity (SPS) encompasses individual differences in the processing of environmental stimuli, emotional stimuli, cognitive processes, and intra-and interpersonal affective processes, as well as overstimulation (Aron & Aron, 1997). Studies have pointed the association of SPS with adverse clinical outcomes such as social phobia (Neal et al., 2002), avoidant personality disorder (Meyer & Carver, 2000), anxiety and depression (Liss et al., 2005), perceived stress and poor mental health (Benham, 2006). These mental health problems were thought to increase during the COVID-19 pandemic (Bekaroğlu & Yılmaz, 2020). ...
... These mental health problems were thought to increase during the COVID-19 pandemic (Bekaroğlu & Yılmaz, 2020). Individuals with high SPS were reported to pay more attention to environmental cues, as well as their own health sensations and bodily experiences (Benham, 2006). In line with the diathesis-stress model (Zuckerman, 1999), higher levels of SPS could make individuals more susceptible to negative environmental conditions. ...
... In line with these premises, previous studies have tested the possible moderating role of SPS while investigating the role of environmental conditions in general outcomes (Acevedo, 2020), as well as in mental health outcomes (Greven et al., 2019). Benham (2006) tested the moderating role of SPS in the association of stress-physical health and reported no significant moderating effect of SPS, but suggested further investigations. COVID-19 is considered to constitute a negative environmental condition. ...
Article
Objective: The emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in major changes in daily life and economic conditions while heightening physical and mental health problems, including health anxiety. Health authorities and elected officials have encouraged individuals to engage in health behaviors. Perceptions of and reactions to these changes could be subject to individual differences. In this line, the current study investigated the predictive roles of health promoting behaviors, sensory processing sensitivity, and their interactions with health anxiety.Design and measures: In this cross-sectional study, 355 participants (73% female, 25.9% male) whose ages range from 19 to 72 (M = 25.91, SD = 9.80) filled out self-reported measures on health promoting behaviors, sensory processing sensitivity, and health anxiety via an online platform between April and May 2020. Results: It was revealed that caring for a healthy diet, taking responsibility for health and sensory processing sensitivity, but not physical activity and stress management, were associated with health anxiety. Diagnoses and perceptions of physical and mental health problems also contributed to health anxiety during the COVID-19 pandemic. Conclusion: Individuals with higher levels of sensory processing sensitivity and health responsibility were more likely to experience higher levels of health anxiety, while typical physical activities and stress management behaviors were less likely to have an impact during the COVID-19 pandemic. These results highlight the importance of having a healthy diet and the need for pandemic-specific interventions for stress management and sport activities.
... This may be because these expressions are easier to observe than the more subtle positive aspects of the trait. Examples of such research include linking sensitivity to negative aspects of work and employment (Evers et al., 2008), anxiety and depression (Liss et al., 2005), stress and physical symptoms (Benham, 2006), diabetes (Goldberg et al., 2017), ADHD (Panagiotidi et al., 2018), subjective health complaints (Grimen & Diseth, 2016) and avoidance and BPD (Meyer, Ajchenbrenner & Bowles, 2005). Neal et al. (2002) reported a correlation between SPS and social phobia, although they were unable to determine if SPS was the cause or consequence of anxiety or stress, due, in part, to the difficulty in interpreting data from self-report tests. ...
... The framework of positive psychology shifts the rhetoric from the deficit to a more positive stance, where mental health becomes the narrative, in contrast to the previous emphasis on mental illness. Sensitivity has largely been viewed from a deficit model (Benham, 2006;Evers et al., 2008;Goldberg et al., 2017;Liss et al., 2005;Panagiotidi, 2018) and the shift to a positive lens aligns well with the positive psychology framework. For example, a study by Szarkowski and Brice (2016) used a positive psychology framework to explore potentially challenging experiences, where parents of deaf children were asked to identify positive associations with raising a deaf child. ...
... Deep processing of information, which is associated with high sensitivity, can lead to overwhelm as a result of the sheer volume of continual stimuli (Aron & Aron, 1997;Aron et al., 2012;Evers et al., 2008;Greven et al., 2019;Pluess et al., 2020). Additionally, all participants in the study reported that they were overwhelmed by aspects of the physical environment, and the lower sensory thresholds associated with high sensitivity can lead to feelings of overwhelm (Greven, et al., 2019;Liss et al., 2005;Smolewska et al., 2006;Sobocko & Zelenski, 2015) and stress and anxiety (Andresen et al., 2018;Benham, 2006;Gerstenberg, 2012;Neil et al., 2016;Pickard et al., 2020). Further, when highly sensitive individuals become overwhelmed, they may struggle to process information (Aron et al., 2012;Acevedo et al., 2014;Jagiellowicz et al., 2016;Acevedo et al., 2017). ...
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People vary in the way in which they perceive, process and react to environmental factors, and some are more or less sensitive than others. There is a dearth of research investigating the possible impact that environmental sensitivity has in the postsecondary education context. To address this gap in literature, the following research question was posed: What impact does environmental sensitivity have on student learning in tertiary education? To answer this question a two-stage mixed methods research project was undertaken. The first stage involved two studies which used snowball recruitment via social media, and subject inclusion criteria were current or previous postsecondary education experience. Participants completed on-line surveys. Study One is the design, development and validation of a self-report instrument measuring postsecondary students’ perceptions of their learning success, and participants completed the Perceived Success in Study Survey (PSISS) and associated demographic questions. Two phases were undertaken to check for reliability of results, n=225 and n=237. Reliability statistics found a high level of internal consistency, and principal component analysis identified five factors: Intellectual Stimulation, Generic Skills, Work-life Balance; Commitment to Learning and Learning Community. The PSISS was found to be a comprehensive measure of overall success for postsecondary learners. The participants in Study Two (n=365) completed the PSISS and the 12-item Highly Sensitive Person Scale (HSPS-12, Pluess et al., 2020) and related demographic questions. Independent T-tests, ANOVA and Tukey post-hoc calculations identified that high sensitivity is positively associated with success-promoting attitudes and strategies as identified on three of the five PSISS factors. It also found positive associations between total scores on the PSISS and the sensitivity subscales of Aesthetic Sensitivity and Ease of Excitation (Smolewska et al., 2006). This study included a response field to register interest in participation in further research. Those who responded, and who rated as highly sensitive on the HSPS-12, were invited to take part in a semi-structured interview, leading into the second stage of the project. Thirteen Zoom interviews were conducted with participants from a broad range of geographic locations and levels and fields of study in order to exemplify and elaborate on the quantitative findings. Reflexive inductive thematic analysis was employed to analyse the data, and sixteen codes and three themes were identified. Responses were written vi into a semantic narrative, accompanied by pertinent participant quotations, providing a rich and detailed description of participant experience. The results of this study confirmed that there are educational advantages contingent with high sensitivity, including the use of a broad array of metacognitive study and self-care strategies, and the prioritisation of wellbeing and work-life balance. Conversely, it also found that numerous simultaneous study demands can lead to feelings of overwhelm, however, the participants employed a comprehensive array of metacognitive coping strategies to manage these. Low sensory thresholds associated with high sensitivity can present challenges for highly sensitive students who can be negatively impacted by aspects of the physical learning environments including light, noise, indoor environmental pollutants. Additionally, participants highlighted the need for postsecondary institutions to provide education about environmental sensitivity, to allow flexibility in teaching delivery, to explore options to support students who may struggle with group-work and presentations, and to provide assessment accommodations. Overall, the project has identified a number of positive and negative associations between levels of learner sensitivity and student success and suggests that education about environmental sensitivity for students and teaching staff would be helpful for increasing awareness about the benefits and challenges of environmental sensitivity. Institutional commitment to providing optimal physical learning and social environments may enhance the learning experience for all students. Finally, recommendations for policy, practice and institutions highlight elements that will be of benefit to all students, most especially those who sit at the high end of the sensitivity spectrum.
... [7][8][9][10][11] This vulnerability is demonstrable throughout their development, 12 and affects their health. A possible explanation is that higher sensitivity increases general physiological excitation, causing chronic stress with later adverse consequences to their health 13 and work. [9][10][11][12][13][14] However, in adequate environments, they may show optimum development, with positive effects on health, education and professional development. ...
... A possible explanation is that higher sensitivity increases general physiological excitation, causing chronic stress with later adverse consequences to their health 13 and work. [9][10][11][12][13][14] However, in adequate environments, they may show optimum development, with positive effects on health, education and professional development. 15 This stable personality trait is associated with a more sensitive central nervous system. ...
... Recent studies report that sensory hypersensitivity is a manifestation of central sensitization, an amplification of the neural signal that triggers hypersensitivity to pain, such as fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue, as well as complex diseases with multiple symptoms. 16 Dixon et al 16 reported that women are more sensitive, with lower thresholds and tolerances than men to some pain stimuli, possibly attributable to attention bias, 17 higher perceived stress, 13 and others. ...
Article
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Purpose: This article describes a cross-cultural adaptation of the Highly Sensitive Person Scale (HSPS) to the adult Spanish population, and psychometric analysis of its validation and reliability. Methods: Convenience sampling by participant accessibility was used. The original version was adapted culturally and linguistically using the back-translation method, and a pilot study was done with 88 participants. Data processing and analysis was performed with the SPSS v.25 and LISREL v.9.2 statistical packages. The psychometric properties were studied in a sample of 8358 participants using exploratory factor analysis and confirmatory factor analysis, and examining factorial invariance and internal consistency. Results: The results confirmed a Spanish version with 27 items in five-dimensions: sensitivity to overstimulation (SOS), aesthetic sensitivity (AES), low sensory threshold (LST), fine psychophysiological discrimination (FPD) and harm avoidance (HA). Invariance across gender of this factor structure was demonstrated and reliability indices were good. Conclusion: These findings demonstrate that the HSPS is an appropriate tool for evaluating high sensitivity in the adult Spanish population.
... Das Konzept der Hochsensibilität wurde auch in nicht-westlichen Samples (Ahadi & Basharpoor, 2010;Chen et al., 2015;Ershova et al., 2018;Sengül-Inal & Sümer, 2017) untersucht mit ähnlich guten Ergebnissen verglichen mit den westlichen Studien. Şengül-İnal & Sümer (2017) entwickelten eine türkische HSP-Skala und fanden geschlechtsspezifische Unterschiede der Hochsensibilitätsfaktoren und bestätigten frühere Ergebnisse westlicher Samples, auch wenn sie eine vier-Faktoren-Struktur präferierten (Aron & Aron, 1997;Benham, 2006 Smolewska et al. (2006). Da jedoch die meisten Studien mit einer drei-dimensionalen Struktur siebenstufige Antwortskalen (Ahadi & Basharpoor, 2010;Booth et al., 2015, Liss et al., 2008Listou Grimen & Diseth, 2016;Smolewska et al., 2006;Sobocko & Zelenski, 2015) nutzten, ist die Vergleichbarkeit erschwert (Konrad & Herzberg, 2017). ...
... In der weiterführenden geschlechtsspezifischen Analyse dokumentierten Konrad und Herzberg (2017) höhere signifikante HS-Werte für die Frauen wie auch andere Untersuchungen zuvor (Aron & Aron, 1997;Benham, 2006;Ershova et al., 2018;Sengül-Inal & Sümer, 2017). ...
... Auch wenn die parametrischen Tests relativ robust gegenüber Verletzungen der Normalverteilung sind und diese mehr oder weniger große Abweichungen von der Normalverteilung akzeptiert könnten (Allan & Bennett, 2010;Field, 2018;Janssen & Laatz, 2005). Kulturen (Aron & Aron, 1997;Benham, 2006;Blach & Egger, 2014) (Blach, 2015). In China dagegen, schätzt man Männer und Frauen mit einer erhöhten Sensibilität (Chen, 1992), dass spiegelt sich in den nicht signifikanten Unterschieden beider Gruppen wider. ...
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... In young adults, high environmental sensitivity is associated with greater perceived stress, but not differences in physiological measures of arousal (Benham, 2006;Weyn et al., 2022). One explanation for this is that highly sensitive individuals may be more aware of their own physiological responses and may notice minor sensations that less sensitive individuals would not (Benham, 2006). ...
... In young adults, high environmental sensitivity is associated with greater perceived stress, but not differences in physiological measures of arousal (Benham, 2006;Weyn et al., 2022). One explanation for this is that highly sensitive individuals may be more aware of their own physiological responses and may notice minor sensations that less sensitive individuals would not (Benham, 2006). This would suggest that environmental sensitivity is subtly different from anxiety sensitivity. ...
Article
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Background: Despite being considered a measure of environmental risk, reported life events are partly heritable. One mechanism that may contribute to this heritability is genetic influences on sensitivity, relating to how individuals process and interpret internal and external signals. The aim of this study was to explore the genetic and environmental overlap between self-reported life events and measures of sensitivity. Methods: At age 17, 2,939 individuals from the Twins Early Development Study (TEDS) completed measures of anxiety sensitivity (Children's Anxiety Sensitivity Index), environmental sensitivity (Highly Sensitive Child Scale) and reported their experience of 20 recent life events. Using multivariate Cholesky decomposition models, we investigated the shared genetic and environmental influences on the associations between these measures of sensitivity and the number of reported life events, as well as both negative and positive ratings of life events. Results: The majority of the associations between anxiety sensitivity, environmental sensitivity and reported life events were explained by shared genetic influences (60%-75%), with the remainder explained by nonshared environmental influences (25%-40%). Environmental sensitivity showed comparable genetic correlations with both negative and positive ratings of life events (rA = .21 and .15), anxiety sensitivity only showed a significant genetic correlation with negative ratings of life events (rA = .33). Approximately 10% of the genetic influences on reported life events were accounted for by influences shared with anxiety sensitivity and environmental sensitivity. Conclusion: Differences in how individuals process the contextual aspects of the environment or interpret their own physical and emotional response to environmental stimuli may be one mechanism through which genetic liability influences the subjective experience of life events.
... The SPS and the SP theories lay on the same theoretical ground, suggesting that some people are more sensitive than others to sensory information. Therefore, some researchers refer to these two theories as the same (Jerome and Liss, 2005;Bakker and Moulding, 2012;Meredith et al., 2016) or consider the SPS the same as the low neurological threshold profiles of the SP; Sensory Sensitivity (Benham, 2006;Minshew and Hobson, 2008;Brown and Stoffel, 2010) or Sensory Avoiding (Ben-Avi et al., 2012). Other researchers suggest that these theories should be distinguished (Aron, 2011;Levit-Binnun et al., 2014). ...
... We used the 27-items HSP Scale (HSPS; Aron and Aron, 1997). The HSPS is reliable and widely used in HSPs studies (Aron and Aron, 1997;Meyer et al., 2005;Benham, 2006;Hofmann and Bitran, 2007;Jagiellowicz et al., 2010;Aron et al., 2012;Acevedo et al., 2014). ...
Article
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Two individual-difference theories focus on sensory sensitivity: one emanating from psychology—sensory-processing-sensitivity (SPS); and one from occupational therapy—sensory processing theory (SP). Each theory is coupled with its measure: the highly-sensitive-person scale (HSPS) and the adolescent adult sensory profile (ASP). The constructs of both theories were claimed to be independent of neuroticism. To assess the convergence of these measures, we recruited participants from a general population and a Facebook Group dedicated to people high in SPS. The participants, N = 1,702 M age = 26.9 (66.7% female), answered the HSPS, ASP, and neuroticism questionnaires. We subjected the HSPS and the APS to exploratory graph analysis. To assess the divergence of these measures from neuroticism, we performed meta-analyses. We also used a subsample obtained in an unrelated study, N = 490, to correlate HSPS and APS with the Big Five and additional measures. The results suggested that (a) the latent structure of these measures conforms to the theories only partially, (b) some of the sub-scales of these two measures correlated highly, r = 0.63, but low enough to suggest divergence, (c) both differentially predict membership in a Facebook group, and (d) both are not isomorphic with neuroticism. We concluded that HSPS primarily measures the emotional reaction to sensory stimulation, whereas ASP the behavioral reactions. We offer shorter yet reliable measures for both theories.
... Kagan et al. (1994) propose that about 15%-20% of the population could be regarded as highly sensitive. It has been shown that a highly sensitive person (HSP) is more likely to perceive negative affectivity (Aron et al., 2005), anxiety (Neal et al., 2002), stress and burnout (Hoferichter & Raufelder, 2020), and symptoms of illness than fellow individuals (Benham, 2006). Thus, SPS could ultimately be related to serious health problems caused by chronic stress (Konrad & Herzberg, 2017). ...
... In a similar vein, Benham (2006) showed that SPS was related to symptoms of illness over and above self-perceived stress. However, in the subscale analysis, Ahadi and Bashapoor (2010) found that not only LST but also EOE was related to relevant psychological outcomes (e.g., depression and anxiety). ...
Article
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Background In the present study, we investigated the association between sensory processing sensitivity (SPS) and telomere length (TL), which is considered a biomarker of cellular aging. SPS is an individual characteristic describing increased perception and procession of inner or outer stimuli, and is positively related to self‐perceived stress. Methods We recruited 82 healthy adolescents aged 13–16 from secondary schools in Germany. SPS was measured with the Highly Sensitive Person Scale, and TL was determined by a multiplex quantitative PCR method. Results Our results show that students with higher values of SPS are likely to have shorter telomeres (β = 0.337, p = .001), when adjusting for sex, socioeconomic status, age, and body mass index. These findings are also independent of the negative impact of stress students might have perceived shortly before data collection. Conclusions Our analysis suggests that students who struggle with low sensory threshold are likely to have shorter telomeres.
... Gender differences are reported in SPS; women usually have higher HSP-scores than men (Benham, 2006;Chac on et al., 2021;Konrad & Herzberg, 2017;Licht et al., 2011). This is not surprising, since women typically have higher scores in neuroticism, agreeableness, and openness to feelings, lower scores in assertiveness and openness to ideas (Costa et al., 2001) and they are more relation-oriented and less thing-oriented than men (Lippa, 2010). ...
... Goldberg and Scharf (2020) investigated parenting practices in adolescence and adolescence and found that highly sensitive parents showed inconsistency, intrusiveness and attachment anxiety resulting in experience of considerable stress during this period. Apparently, high sensitivity in women is a two-edged sword and could be an indication of a mis-match between evolutionary based characteristics and the complexity, stress and demands of modern societies (Benham, 2006). ...
Article
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Sensory Processing Sensitivity (SPS) is a heritable personality related trait which includessensitivity to a variety of stimuli, emotional, cognitive, and behavioural reactions such asstrong positive and negative emotional responses, deep cognitive processing of stimuli, andempathic behaviour. Two studies are reported. Study 1 investigated the factor structure ofthe Highly Sensitive Person scale (HSP) and gender differences in HSP. Study 2 describeddifferences in Big Five personality traits between two HSP groups. Study 1 comprised asample of adults, mostly university students, matched on gender (N men ¼ 548, N women¼ 548; total N ¼ 1096). Study 2 was based on a sample consisting of a High (N ¼ 164) andLow (N ¼ 164) HSP group also matched on gender (N men ¼ 82 and N women ¼ 82 inboth groups; total N ¼ 328). There were no age differences between men and women inthe two samples. Results from Study 1 showed a correlated three-factor solution: The firstfactor reflected excitability, easily aroused, negative emotional reactivity, frustration,avoidance of upsetting situations and childhood shyness. Factor 2 comprised low sensorythreshold and sensory discomfort. Factor 3 captured intensity of aesthetic reactions,preoccupation with details in the environment, and socio-emotional sensitivity. Genderdifferences were found, women had elevated HSP scores on all scales, also when controlledfor personality traits. Study 2 showed that the highly sensitive individuals had a uniquepersonality trait profile compared to low sensitives. They had higher scores on neuroticism,agreeableness, openness, and lower scores on conscientiousness. There were no differencesin extraversion i.e., there was no tendency towards introversion among the high sensitives
... ej., Bartholomay et al., 2021;Villarosa et al., 2014) e incluso de una correlación negativa (p. ej., Ham et al., 2007;Ham y Hope, 2005, 2006Papachristou et al., 2018;Schry y White, 2013). ...
... No obstante, algunas personas muestran patrones extremos o intensos de procesamiento de la información sensorial. Benham (2006) definió la sensibilidad del procesamiento sensorial como altos niveles de sensibilidad a los estímulos sutiles y la facilidad para sobreexcitarse ante los estímulos externos. En los últimos años, ha aumentado el apoyo empírico a las bases biológicas de dicho procesamiento. ...
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En un trabajo anterior (Caballo et al., 2021) comprobamos la eficacia del programa de Intervención multidimensional para la ansiedad social (IMAS) en la reducción de los síntomas de ansiedad social. En este estudio cuasiexperimental, con medidas pre/postratamiento y seguimiento, hallamos el impacto del programa IMAS en otros problemas relacionados con la ansiedad social. 57 personas diagnosticadas con un trastorno de ansiedad social (TAS), según el DSM-5, contestaron a cuestionarios que medían habilidades sociales, depresión, síntomas del trastorno de la personalidad por evitación, alcoholismo, autoestima, sensibilidad personal, preocupaciones y calidad de vida. Diferentes terapeutas llevaron a cabo el tratamiento en Ecuador, España y Paraguay. Los resultados mostraron importantes mejoras en el postratamiento en prácticamente todos los aspectos evaluados, mejoras que se mantenían a los seis meses. Los tamaños del efecto sobre la eficacia del tratamiento iban de medianos a grandes. Se comparó también el programa IMAS con terapia cognitivo conductual individual y tratamiento farmacológico, con resultados favorables para el programa IMAS. Este nuevo programa para el tratamiento de la ansiedad social tiene un impacto importante en otros problemas relacionados habitualmente con el TAS.
... Thus, for example, Schneier et al. (2010) reported that, in the general U.S. population, the joint lifetime prevalence of SAD and an alcohol use disorder was 2.4% and that among those with SAD, 27.3% had alcohol dependence and 20.9% abused alcohol. But other studies report a lack of such a relationship (e.g., Bartholomay et al., 2021;Villarosa et al., 2014) or even a negative correlation (e.g., Ham et al., 2007;Ham & Hope, 2005, 2006Papachristou et al., 2018;Schry & White, 2013). ...
... However, some show extreme or intense patterns of sensory information processing. Benham (2006) defined sensory processing sensitivity as high levels of sensitivity to subtle stimuli and the easiness to become overexcited by external stimuli. In recent years, there has been increasing empirical support for the biological basis of such processing. ...
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In a previous work (Caballo et al., 2021) we tested the effectiveness of the Multidimensional Intervention for Social Anxiety (MISA) program in reducing social anxiety symptoms. In this quasi-experimental study, with pre/post-treatment and follow-up measures, we examined the impact of the MISA program on other problems related to social anxiety. 57 people diagnosed with social anxiety disorder (SAD), according to DSM-5, were assessed with a diagnostic interview and questionnaires measuring social skills, depression, avoidant personality disorder symptoms, alcoholism, self-esteem, personal sensitivity, worries, and quality of life. Different therapists carried out the treatment in Ecuador, Spain, and Paraguay. The results showed significant improvements at post-treatment in virtually all measures assessing the above variables, improvements that were maintained at six months. Effect sizes on treatment effectiveness ranged from medium to large. The MISA program was also compared with individual cognitive behavioral therapy and pharmacological treatment, with favorable results for the MISA program. In conclusion, this new program for the treatment of social anxiety has a significant impact on other problems usually related to SAD.
... However, their occurrence among patients in most practices is likely close to 50% [4]. SPS has been associated with higher levels of stress [5], anxiety and depression [6], low self-esteem [7], agoraphobia [8], negative affectivity and heightened shyness [9] and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) [10]. HSP employees were found to be more sensitive to work stress, work displeasure and the need for recovery [11]. ...
... The negative mental health outcomes of HSPs during the observed period may be explained by several mechanisms. First, HSPs are influenced by negative childhood experiences and poor parenting more than other people [49], which can consequently lead to higher anxiety and depression levels in adult life [5,6]. Therefore, during this time of heightened uncertainty and exposure to global stressors [50], HSPs could have been more vulnerable to negative mental health outcomes due to the experience of peritraumatic psychological distress related to the COVID-19 pandemic. ...
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Sensory processing sensitivity (SPS) is a common human neurobiological trait that is related to many areas of human life. This trait has recently received increased public interest. However , solid scientific research on SPS is lagging behind. Progress in this area is also hindered by a lack of comprehensive research tools suitable for a rapid assessment of SPS. Thus, the aim of this study was to offer a newly developed tool, the Sensory Processing Sensitivity Questionnaire (SPSQ), and to assess its psychometric properties and associations with emotional and relational variables measured during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. We found the tool to have good psy-chometric characteristics: high temporal stability (r = 0.95) and excellent internal consistency (Cronbach's α = 0.92; McDonald's ω = 0.92). The fit of the SPSQ bi-factor model was satisfactory: χ 2 (88.0) = 506.141; p < 0.001; CFI = 0.993; TLI = 0.990; RMSEA = 0.070; SRMR = 0.039. Testing of config-ural, metric, scalar and strict invariance suggested that the SPSQ assesses SPS equivalently between males and females. The scale's validity was supported via a strong association with an existing SPS measure. Further, we observed higher total SPSQ scores among women, students and religious respondents , and we found that more sensitive respondents reported higher feelings of anxiety and more deterioration in relationships during the COVID-19 pandemic. Thus, this study also identifies people with this trait as being potentially more vulnerable during periods of an increased presence of global stressors.
... Likely, various studies support that sensory processing sensitivity is associated with negative clinical outcomes such as anxiety, depression, poor social skills, social anxiety, and avoidant personality disorder. Research shows that sensory processing sensitivity is positively associated with variables such as social anxiety (Hofmann & Bitran, 2007), perceived stress and more frequent illness symptoms (Benham, 2006), avoidant personality disorder (Meyer & Carver, 2000), anxiety and depression (Liss et al., 2008), neuroticism (Charles et al., 2008), low subjective well-being (Sobocko & Zelenski, 2015), and work stress and work displeasure (Evers et al., 2008). In a nutshell, previous research results show that there is a positive relationship between sensory processing sensitivity and negative affect-based psychological problems such as depression, anxiety, and stress. ...
... Like previous research, this study also showed that symptoms of depression, stress, and anxiety can be observed more in highly sensitive individuals. Since high sensitivity increases general physiological arousal and causes chronic stress, highly sensitive individuals are more likely to have psychological disorders (Benham, 2006). Highly sensitive people who experience deep cognitive processing too much cognitively process situations or stimuli that would be considered normal for other people as a severe state or stimulus. ...
Article
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Researches reveal that approximately one-third of the general population has high sensory processing sensitivity and the highly sensitive individuals are more prone to have psychological problems. This study aimed to examine the relationships among sensory sensitivity, emotion regulation skills, dysfunctional attitudes, depression, anxiety, and stress. The study group consisted of 355 undergraduate students (239 females [67.3%], 116 males [32.7%]) aged between 17 and 32 (Mean = 20.8, SD = 1.90). Using the mixture structural equation modeling, at the first step, the direct and indirect relationships between the variables were analyzed through structural equation modeling. In the second step, using latent class analysis it was aimed to determine individual differences based on the relationships between the variables determined by the structural equation model. There was a positive relationship between depression, anxiety, stress and sensory sensitivity. Besides, emotion regulation skills and dysfunctional attitudes had a mediating effect in this relationship. Latent class analysis extracted two latent classes. The first group (30.1%) has higher levels of depression, anxiety, stress sensory sensitivity and negative attitudes, and they used suppression more but cognitive reappraisal less. The second group (69.1%) has lower levels of depression, anxiety, stress, sensory sensitivity and negative attitudes, and they used cognitive reappraisal more but suppression less. Individuals with psychological problems such as depression, anxiety, and stress might show different characteristics in terms of sensory processing sensitivity and that it might be useful to consider this differentiation in mental health interventions.
... Bisherige Studien zeigen Geschlechtsunterschiede auf, Frauen berichten signifikant höhere Werte im Vergleich zu Männern [5,17,25,26]. Die Effektstärken sind mittel bis sehr groß und lagen zwischen d = 0,51 (AES) und d = 0,81 (LST) bei Konrad und Herzberg [17], Blach und Egger [25] berichten für den HSP-Gesamtscore ein d = 0,98. ...
... Aus den sich daraus ergebenden z-Werten wurden anschließend die entsprechenden T-Werte berechnet, die in den Normtabellen zusammen mit den Prozenträngen berichtet werden. [5,17,25,26] Geschlechtsunterschiede gefunden wurden und daher separate Normen berechnet wurden, sollte dieser Effekt adressiert sein. Die Erklärung von Aron und Aron [5], wonach die Geschlechtsunterschiede mit dem westlichen Weltbild erklärt werden, dass es für Männer negativ konnotiert ist, zu ihrer Sensibilität zu stehen, mag für die vorliegende Stichprobe im mittleren Alter von knapp 38 Jahren zutreffend sein. ...
Article
Zusammenfassung Problem Die deutsche Fassung der Highly Sensitive Person Scale (HSPS-G) ist ein Verfahren zur Feststellung der Ausprägung des Merkmals Feinfühligkeit. Diese Skala wurde bisher in der deutschen Fassung validiert (Konrad & Herzberg, 2017), eine Normierung für die deutschsprachige Allgemeinbevölkerung steht allerdings noch aus. Methode Zur Erstellung von Normwerten der Skala für die Allgemeinbevölkerung wurden N=7458 Personen (n=6251 Frauen, n=1207 Männer) im Alter von 14–80 Jahren (MW=37.80, SD=11.75) im deutschsprachigen Raum (Deutschland, Österreich, Schweiz) online befragt. Ergebnisse Die Varianzanalyse zeigte höhere Werte für Frauen, so dass geschlechtsspezifische Normen notwendig sind. Daher werden geschlechtsspezifische Normwerte für die Subskalen der HSPS-G als auch für den HSPS-G-Gesamtscore bereitgestellt. Mit diesen Prozenträngen und T-Werten stehen erstmals Vergleichsdaten für das im deutschen Sprachraum etablierte Instrument zur Verfügung, die die Interpretation interindividueller und intraindividueller Unterschiede vor dem Hintergrund von Bevölkerungsangaben erlauben.
... The concept is used in the relevant research concerning individual differences in reacting to the environment Tillmann et al., 2018). The research conducted to date shows that this trait may be linked to the risk of psychopathology and the occurrence of stress-related problems (Benham, 2006;Booth et al., 2015;Brindle et al., 2015) when the person grows up, is raised and spends time in an unfavourable, negative environment (Slagt et al., 2016;Slagt et al., 2018a). On the other hand, this trait is related to exceptional benefits when the person grows up, is raised and spends time in positive, supportive environments (Pluess, 2015;Pluess & Belsky, 2010;Pluess & Boniwell, 2015). ...
... Due to the specific nature of high sensitivity as an object of measurement as well as the uneven structure of the 19-item tool, an attempt was made to shorten the scale in order to lower the level of stress of the respondents (cf. Benham, 2006). The starting point to reduce the number of questions was the analysis of the structure of factors and psychometric properties of the Polish version of the HSPS presented above. ...
Article
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Background Sensory processing sensitivity (SPS) is a heritable trait and persons who are characterized by a high level of it are termed highly sensitive. The first and the most frequently used scale developed to measure high sensitivity is the Highly Sensitive Person Scale (HSPS), which has become increasingly popular and has been adapted to many languages in recent years. The present article forms a part of the publications which deal with the subject of tool adaptation and the exploration of their structure. Participants and procedure This article presents the results of research conducted on a Polish sample of emerging adults consisting of 470 persons. The aim of this study is to further analyse the psychometric properties of the HSPS, as well as to provide initial evidence for the properties of the scale on a Polish sample. The analyses conducted to date have been extended and the item response theory (IRT) model has been included. Also, a proposal for a shortened scale is presented. Results The results show that the Polish version of the HSPS constitutes a reliable method whose validity is proven by correlations with the Pavlovian Temperament Survey as well as being a reliable measure of the SPS construct. Conclusions The results obtained support the multi-factor structure of the scale. There is a need for further analysis of the cultural aspect in sensitivity studies as well as for exploring gender differences.
... The concept is used in the relevant research concerning individual differences in reacting to the environment (Pluess et al., 2018;Tillmann, Matany, & Duttweiler, 2018). The research conducted to date shows that this trait may be linked to the risk of psychopathology and the occurrence of stress-related problems (Benham, 2006;Booth, Standage, & Fox, 2015;Brindle, Moulding, Bakker, & Nedeljkovic, 2015) when the person grows up, is raised and spends time in an unfavourable, negative environment (Slagt, Dubas, Deković, & van Aken, 2016;Slagt, Dubas, Ellis, Van significance and facilitates its recognition, and finally to adequately support highly sensitive persons. This paper forms part of the body of research which includes testing and exploring the scale for measuring high sensitivity in a Polish sample of emerging adults. ...
... Due to the specific nature of high sensitivity as an object of measurement as well as the uneven structure of the 19-item tool, an attempt was made at shortening the scale in order to lower the level of stress of the respondents (cf. Benham, 2006). The starting point to reducing the number of questions was the analysis of the structure of factors and psychometric properties of the Polish version of HSPS presented above. ...
Preprint
Background Sensory Processing Sensitivity is a heritable trait and persons who are characterized by a high level of it are termed Highly Sensitive. The first and the most frequently used scale developed to measure high sensitivity is the Highly Sensitive Person Scale, which has become increasingly popular and has been adapted to many languages in the recent years. The present article forms a part of the publications which deal with the subject of tool adaptation and the exploration of their structure. Participants and procedure This article presents the results of research conducted on a Polish sample of emerging adults consisting of 470 persons. The aim of this study is to further analyse the psychometric properties of HSPS, as well as to provide initial evidence for the properties of the scale on a Polish sample. The analyses conducted to date have been extended and the IRT model has been included. Also, a proposal for a shortened scale is presented. Results The results show that the short Polish version of HSPS constitutes a reliable method whose validity is proven by correlations with the Pavlovian Temperament Survey as well as being a reliable measure of the SPS construct. Conclusions The results obtained prove the multi-factor structure of the scale. There is a need for further analysis of the cultural aspect in sensitivity studies as well as for exploring gender differences. Abstract Sensory Processing Sensitivity is a heritable trait and persons who are characterized by a high level of it are termed Highly Sensitive. The first and the most frequently used scale developed to measure high sensitivity is the Highly Sensitive Person Scale, which has become increasingly popular and has been adapted to many languages in the recent years. The present article forms a part of the publications which deal with the subject of tool adaptation and the exploration of their structure. This article presents the results of research conducted on a Polish sample of emerging adults consisting of 470 persons. The aim of this study is to further analyse the psychometric properties of HSPS, as well as to provide initial evidence for the properties of the scale on a Polish sample. The analyses conducted to date have been extended and the IRT model has been included. Also, a proposal for a shortened scale is presented. The results show that the Polish version of HSPS constitutes a reliable method whose validity is proven by correlations with the Pavlovian Temperament Survey as well as being a reliable measure of the SPS construct. The results obtained prove the multi-factor structure of the scale. There is a need for further analysis of the cultural aspect in sensitivity studies as well as for exploring gender differences.
... p>.05) are not making a significant contribution to the prediction of anxiety level in this study. (2007), Benham (2006), and Jerome and Liss (2005). ...
... Similarly, as previous studies showed, highly sensitive people experience a higher level of anxiety and high sensory processing sensitivity is associated with greater perceived stress and more frequent symptoms of ill health (Benham, 2006). In other study, individuals reported their anxiety related to their sensitivity to environmental stimuli (Neal et al., 2002). ...
Article
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Abstrak: Kebimbangan adalah salah satu masalah psikologi yang mencatat tahap yang tinggi dan sering berlaku dikalangan orang dewasa terutamanya dalam kalangan pelajar universiti. Tujuan kajian ini adalah untuk meneroka hubungan diantara kerisauan dan corak pemprosesan sensori dalam diri pelajar.Tiga ratus lima puluh empat pelajar yang berumur diantara 20-45 tahun telah melengkapkan soal selidik Demografi Adolescent/Adult Sensory Profile, PROMIS Depression Item bank dan PROMIS Anxiety Item bank.Analisis Korelasi Pearson menunjukkan bahawa terdapat hubungan yang signifikan yang positif diantara tiga daripada corak pemprosesan sensori dan kerisauan, termasuklah sensation avoiding, sensory sensitivity, dan low registration. Analisis Regresi Berganda menunjukkan bahawa sensory avoiding and sensory sensitivity adalah peramal yang signifikan berlakunya kerisauan.Corak pemprosesan sensori mempunyai kesan keatas tahap kerisauan seseorang individu. Kajian ini mempunyai implikasi kepada ahli professional kesihatan mental seperti ahli psikologi pendidikan dan kaunselor.
... It is believed that individuals with high SPS process information at a deeper level, have heightened awareness of subtleties in the environment (e.g., ambient changes in light, noise), and are more likely to become overwhelmed (Greven et al., 2019). High levels of SPS have been linked to perceived stress and symptoms of poor health (Benham, 2006), depression (Liss et al., 2005), and social anxiety (Neal et al., 2002). SPS is therefore a personality trait that may lead to heightened emotional response to stress. ...
Article
Purpose Listening-related fatigue is a potential negative consequence of challenges experienced during everyday listening and may disproportionately affect older adults. Contrary to expectation, we recently found that increased reports of listening-related fatigue were associated with better performance on a dichotic listening task. However, this link was found only in individuals who reported heightened sensitivity to a variety of physical, social, and emotional stimuli (i.e., increased “sensory-processing sensitivity” [SPS]). This study examined whether perceived effort may underlie the link between performance and fatigue. Method Two hundred six young adults, aged 18–30 years (Experiment 1), and 122 older adults, aged 60–80 years (Experiment 2), performed a dichotic listening task and were administered a series of questionnaires including the NASA Task Load Index of perceived effort, the Vanderbilt Fatigue Scale (measuring daily life listening-related fatigue), and the Highly Sensitive Person Scale (measuring SPS). Both experiments were completed online. Results SPS predicted listening-related fatigue, but perceived effort during the listening task was not associated with SPS or listening-related fatigue in either age group. We were also unable to replicate the interaction between dichotic listening performance and SPS in either group. Exploratory analyses revealed contrasting effects of age; older adults found the dichotic listening task more effortful but indicated lower overall fatigue. Conclusions These findings suggest that SPS is a better predictor of listening-related fatigue than performance or effort ratings on a dichotic listening task. SPS may be an important factor in determining an individual's likelihood of experiencing listening-related fatigue irrespective of hearing or cognitive ability. Supplemental Material https://doi.org/10.23641/asha.21893013
... SPS can lead to social isolation, which significantly impairs normal integration into society and normal social life. SPS is known to correlate with higher stress levels [3], [4], borderline syndrome [05], increased panic attacks [6], and depression [7], [8], among others. These circumstances, in turn, have a significant impact on the personal and professional lives of those affected. ...
Article
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Through a novel approach, which we call Adjusted Reality, it should become possible to virtually adapt physical reality by shrinking it virtually. You could also call it the reverse approach of Augmented Reality (AR). We see the main application in the medical field, for example with Highly Sensitive Persons (HSP). These individuals experience immense sensory and psychological overload. Due to the stressful situations caused by the disruptive stimuli, mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety disorders or somatoform disorders can develop and manifest. Up to now, there are only a few possibilities to offer help to these persons and thus prevent the symptoms. Therapies or participation in self-help groups can be mentioned as means of help. Interestingly, there are no digital aids for HSP so far, neither wearables nor mobile applications. By using Adjusted Reality, the aforementioned consequences should at best be avoided, or at least mitigated, by reducing the physical stimuli before they reach the sensory cells. The functionality of Adjusted Reality is therefore designed as an intelligent, AI-assisted and multimodal wearable system. Sensory input is personalized in the system, digitally modified, and delivered in an attenuated version to the sensory cells and finally to the brain. Through the use of Adjusted Reality, individuals are expected to relax and feel more comfortable with themselves, including their situation within society. In general, due to its omnipotent possibilities, Adjusted Reality can be relevant whenever physical experiences can be specifically reduced. In this work, these possibilities will be further explored.
... Although our finding did not coincide with Hill et al.'s (2018) literature review, which found that the relationship between stress and eating in adolescents was not influenced by the type of stressor (perceived vs. objective), it corresponds well with the transactional coping theory that includes the importance of cognitive appraisal (Lazarus & Folkman, 1984); an individual's appraisal of a stressful situation influences which coping strategy she/he uses, which in turn impacts symptom development. This finding is also consistent with research denoting that a highly sensitive individual's perception and sensory experience of an event determines the level of distress she/ he experiences (Benham, 2006). Results of the bootstrapped multiple mediator analyses showed a trend such that female models provided more explanatory evidence regarding ED symptomatology than male models, suggesting that stress and coping are important factors in ED symptomatology for males and females, but stronger for female adolescents. ...
Article
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Background Adolescence is a developmental period that can place individuals at heightened risk of engaging in disordered eating patterns. Stress and coping have been included as etiological factors of eating pathology, yet the mechanism of this relationship in adolescent males and females remains understudied. Aims This study investigated the role of coping as a mediator in the stress-disordered eating relationship in a sample of adolescents. Demographics/settings Participants included 2262 grade 7–12 students from a larger cross-sectional study entitled, Research on Eating and Adolescent Lifestyles (REAL). Methodology/analyses Participants completed measures of perceived stress, life stressors, coping style, and disordered eating. Multiple mediator models of coping were analyzed to examine the extent to which coping mediated the stress-disordered eating relationship, for males and females separately. Findings Emotion-oriented coping was a significant partial mediator in the relationship between stress (perceived stress, life stressors) and disordered eating in male and female adolescents. Findings suggest adolescents experiencing high stress tend to engage in emotion-oriented coping, which may lead to greater levels of disordered eating. Implications Interventions targeting effective coping strategies for dealing with different stress types may prevent youth from disordered eating, thus reducing their risk of eating disorders during a vulnerable period in development.
... Demir, 2017 (Gray, 1981; (Kemler, 2006). Yine duyusal işlemleme hassasiyeti düzeyinin algılanan stres seviyesi ile pozitif yönde ilişkili olduğu yönündeki araştırma bulguları literatürle paralellik göstermektedir (Benham, 2006). ...
... En adultos se examinó, en un estudio realizado por Benham (2006), la relación entre el procesamiento altamente sensible, la ansiedad percibida y la manifestación de sintomatología (de mala salud). Los resultados indicaron que la alta sensibilidad al procesamiento sensorial se asocia con una mayor percepción de estrés y síntomas más frecuentes de mala salud. ...
Book
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Recopilación de estudios realizados por investigadores en formación a la sombra del Grupo de Investigación de Alto Rendimiento FERSE (Fundamentos de la Educación y Responsabilidad Social Educativa. Los estudios están vinculados a la línea de investigación preferente, no obstante, existen investigaciones que hacen aportaciones a diversas líneas.
... Ioannou, Dellepiane, Olsson, Steingrimsson, 2017; Serafinia, Gonda, Canepa, Pompili, Rihmer, Amore, Engel-Yeger, 2017; Yano, Oishi, 2018), and feelings of helplessness (Serafinia et al., 2017). In addition, such people may have a tendency to adopt values and views imposed from the outside as their own (the phenomenon known as internalization) (Boterberg, Warreyn, 2016), they might be impulsive (Serafinia et al. 2017) and are prone to a higher incidence of somatic diseases (Benham, 2006). At the same time, it is worth noting that highly sensitive children growing up in a positive, supportive environment have a chance to achieve optimal development and to attain their full potential. ...
... Approximately 15-20% of the population, equally divided between male and female, is believed to be highly sensitive [13,15]. Most people with high SPS receive their diagnosis during young adulthood and can experience high heart rate, high-stress levels, physical illness [3], depression and anxiety [5] caused by overstimulation. Individuals with high SPS are prone to more negative emotional states and have been found to withdraw themselves from social situations as a result of overstimulation [1]. ...
Conference Paper
This paper introduces MoodTurner, a wearable and mobile system that supports individuals in the self-care of high sensory processing sensitivity. We discuss how different aspects of personal informatics and embodied perception can be combined to help individuals in the tracking and reflecting on episodes of high sensory processing sensitivity, and overcome stigmatisation associated with the use of tracking tools. We present the design of a smart jewellery that tracks where episodes take place as well as their severity and a complementary mobile application that allows users to review and document episodes of high sensory processing sensitivity.
... However, sensory sensitivity might well be associated with the broad spectrum of mental health conditions, e.g. through stress sensitivity. Subjective stress is found to be positively associated with self-reported sensory sensitivity in several student populations (Benham, 2006;Gearhart and Bodie, 2012;Gerstenberg, 2012). In children with autism, sensory sensitivity was also found to be related to increased concentrations of cortisol (Corbett et al., 2009). ...
Article
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In clinical practice, many individuals with psychiatric disorders report difficulties in sensory processing, including increased awareness or sensitivity to external stimuli. In this meta-analysis, we examined the sensory processing patterns of adolescent and adult individuals with a broad spectrum of different psychiatric conditions. A systematic search in various databases resulted in the inclusion of 33 studies (N=2008), all using the Adolescent/Adult Sensory Profile (AASP). By comparing diagnostic subgroups to the corresponding reference group of the AASP, we detected a general pattern of sensory processing, indicating elevated levels of low registration, sensory sensitivity and sensory avoiding and lowered sensory seeking behavior in patients with different types of psychiatric disorders. The majority of effect sizes were large to very large. In conclusion, sensory processing difficulties can be considered as a non-specific transdiagnostic phenotype associated with a broad spectrum of psychiatric conditions. Further research into relevance and role of sensory processing difficulties in psychiatric disorders may improve long-term prognosis and treatment.
... Esta relación entre sensibilidad mal gestionada que ocasiona irritabilidad se da en el cuerpo, en la mente y en las relaciones con los otros e incluso con las cosas, culpabilizando a objetos como si fueran sujetos con voluntariedad. (Benham, 2006;Morrell y Murray, 2003;Mulraney, Sciberras, Gulenc, Efron, Hazell y Silk, 2021;Alexandre, Castelão, Santos, y Fernandes, 2021). ...
Article
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El aumento de canales de comunicación social en nuestra sociedad democrática ha incrementado las posibilidades de expresarse con libertad, pero a su vez, se generan nuevas situaciones amenazadoras por prácticas de expresión agresiva que suponen violencia y de expresión pasiva que generaliza el mimetismo adaptativo a un ideario que se impone por ósmosis social Palabras clave: Libertad de expresión. Sensibilidad. Irritabilidad. Sectarismo. Educación.
... Sample means show higher averages for women than for men on the SPSQ total, the two higher-order dimensions, and the six subscales. This gender difference with respect to SPS was also found in other studies using the HSPS (Benham, 2006;Chacon et al., 2021;Konrad & Herzberg, 2017). In the current study, the differences are largest for the SPSQ total, the negative higher-order dimension, and SD, as part of the negative SPSQ dimension. ...
Article
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The main purpose of the study was the development of the Sensory Processing Sensitivity Questionnaire (SPSQ), designed to measure Sensory Processing Sensitivity, defined as a person's sensitivity to subtle stimuli, the depth with which these stimuli are processed, and its impact on emotional reactivity. The item pool generated for the development of the SPSQ consisted of 60 items. After exploratory factor analysis, 43 items remained, divided into six specific factors: (1) Sensory Sensitivity to Subtle Internal and External Stimuli, (2) Emotional and Physiological Reactivity, (3) Sensory Discomfort, (4) Sensory Comfort, (5) Social-Affective Sensitivity, and (6) Esthetic Sensitivity. Confirmatory factor analysis indicated that a higher-order bi-factor model consisting of two higher-order factors (a positive and negative dimension), a general sensitivity factor and six specific factors had the best fit. Strong positive associations were found between Emotional and Physiological Reactivity, the negative higher-order dimension, and Neuroticism; the same holds for the association between Esthetic Sensitivity, the positive higher-order dimension, and Openness. Emotional and Physiological Reactivity and the negative higher-order dimension showed clear associations with clinical outcomes. The relationships between the SPSQ and similar scales - the Highly Sensitive Person Scale and part of the Adult Temperament Questionnaire - were in the expected direction.
... Zo is nog onduidelijk wat de aard van de relatie is tussen verhoogde prikkelgevoeligheid en misofonie (Taylor, 2017). Aangezien er een correlatie is tussen verhoogde prikkelgevoeligheid en de neiging tot het catastroferen van pijnsensaties (Engel-Yeger & Dunn, 2011) en SPS geassocieerd is met allerlei somatische gezondheidsklachten (Benham, 2006), is het niet ondenkbaar dat er ook een relatie is met somatisatiestoornissen. Waarschijnlijk zijn er nog meer verbanden te leggen met andere psychische klachten dan welke reeds genoemd zijn. ...
Article
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Sensory sensitivity is a trait that is present throughout the population in varying degrees of severity and which interacts with different kinds of psychopathology, including autism, in complex ways. Putting sensory processing difficulties in the proper context during the diagnostic process requires knowledge of these interactions. In this article we explore the clinical relevance of sensory processing difficulties in clinical practice by exploring the relationship with autism, ADHD, attachment, personality disorders and other psychopathology. After reviewing the available literature and discussing the theoretical concepts related to sensory processing, we conclude that sensory sensitivity can be seen as a transdiagnostic factor. Attention for sensory processing in clinical practice can help optimize treatment.
... This could reflect somatization as a defensive strategy or merely a negative response style whereby some individuals report a variety of discomfort. It is also possible that individuals with high sensory sensitivity, who are hypothetically more likely to experience nightmares (Carr & Nielsen, 2017) are also more sensitive to internal somatic symptoms whether through additional bodily stress or heightened awareness of physical sensations (Benham, 2006). Also, it has not been examined if perhaps associated sleep disruptions from nightmares or nightmare prone dysregulation cause somatic issues rather than predict nightmares, as found for sleep disruption and coronary heart disease (McAlpine et al., 2019). ...
Article
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Previous research introduced the Nightmare Proneness Scale (NPS) as a measurement for nightmare proneness, the trait-like disposition to experience frequent nightmares. However, outside predicting nightmares, little is known about the structure of the scale or relationships of its facets with nightmares. The factor structure of the NPS and the scale’s statistical independence from psychological distress and negative affect were examined among a sample of 306 university students. The NPS predicted frequent distressing nightmares independent from psychological distress and negative affect. Three NPS facets were found representing general psychical dysregulation, depressiveness, and somatization. The NPS facet representing general dysregulation was the strongest predictor of nightmares and the only NPS facet to independently predict nightmares outside of distress and negative affect. The results, limitations, and directions for future research are noted.
... Existing research has mainly focused on the relation between SPS and internalizing (INT) problem behavior [4], specifically with depression, anxiety, autism, alexithymia, and somatic problems [5][6][7][8]. The main representative of INT problems, depression [9], has revealed low-moderate positive associations (from 0.22 to 0.35) with more sensitive people [5,6,10]. ...
Preprint
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While the link between Sensory-processing sensitivity (SPS) and internalizing symptoms has been well-established, a link to externalizing problems is still to be explored. This study aimed to further examine the relation between SPS and behavioral problems by testing the potential mediating roles of trait emotional intelligence (TEI) and decision-making styles. Pathway analyses were conducted on data from 268 community sample participants (Mage= 25.81, SD=2.41, 61.2% females). Results indicated gender differences in the pathway level outcomes of SPS, as well as potential partial mediators in men and women. SPS both directly and via the mediating effects of well-being factor (TEI) and avoidant decision-making influenced depression, regardless of gender. Direct effects on aggression were, however, obtained only in the male sample. Indirect effects of SPS on aggression were found in spontaneous decision-making for men, and in self-control and sociability factors of TEI for women. Directions for future research were discussed. sensory-processing sensitivity, depression, aggression, emotional intelligence, decision-making style, gender differences
... HSPS appears to be either a factor of vulnerability or a factor of adaptation to environmental stressors (Akiskal & Akiskal, 2005;Balestri et al., 2019). In the first case, HSPS is then associated with higher levels of anxiety and depression (Brindle et al., 2015;Liss et al., 2008Liss et al., , 2005Meredith et al., 2016) and perceived stress (Andresen et al., 2018;Bakker & Moulding, 2012;Benham, 2006). In the second case, a high sensitivity in terms of sensory processing favours adaptation to possible environmental threats (Acevedo et al., 2018). ...
Article
The COVID-19 health crisis is perceived as an anxiety-provoking situation. In some cases, policy measures such as containment can generate psychological distress. High sensory processing sensitivity is an innate component of temperament that characterises individuals with higher sensory sensitivity than their peers. It can be understood either as an individual’s ability to adapt to specific situations, or as a factor of vulnerability to certain negative stimuli, which may impact upon quality of life, or manifest itself in the expression of anxiety-depressive symptoms. In this study, we investigated the effects of confinement from a longitudinal perspective on these aspects, according to the degree of sensitivity of individuals. Data collection was carried out longitudinally during the lockdown of the French population. The sample was composed of 493 adults who were asked to respond twice, anonymously, to a research protocol hosted online. We used a tool composed of the French version of the Highly Sensitive Person Scale, the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, and the French short version of the World Health Organisation Quality Of Life scale. The results did not show a significant change in anxiety and depression disorders and quality of life in general between the beginning and the end of lockdown. Furthermore, notable disparities were observed according to the degrees of sensitivity in relation to the type of lifestyle during lockdown. The data from the literature, based on cross-cutting approaches, was clarified by the results, as they did not show any negative effects of lockdown on anxiety-depressive disorders during the lockdown period. Moreover, the latter even seemed to have improved one aspect of quality of life.
... Różnice międzypłciowe w ogólnej populacji obejmują też wrażliwość środowiskową (np. Benham, 2006). W badaniach postawiono dwa pytania badawcze: 1. Czy istnieje i jaki jest związek między wrażliwością środowiskową a uzdolnieniami dziewcząt ze szkół podstawowych? ...
Article
ABSTRACT The aim of the research described in the article was to explain the link between the sensitivity and multiple intelligences of students aged 10–12. The basis for the undertaken analysis is the concept of environmental sensitivity, which is a contribution to the theoretical development of the issue of sensory processing sensitivity (SPS). Furthermore, it also has a high application value in research studies concerning the differences in individual responses to the environment. The concept of sensory processing sensitivity proposes and develops psychometric tools that allow for the measurement of sensitivity to the environment, understood as a phenotypic trait in adults and children. The theoretical foundation of the work is also Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences, which defined them as a biopsychic ability to process information to solve problems and achieve valuable goals. These assumptions gave rise to questions about the relationship between the above-mentioned variables of girls and boys from primary schools. In order to measure the relevant variables, the Multiple Skills Test (Pol. Test Uzdolnień Wielorakich, TUW) and the Polish adaptation of the Highly Sensitive Child Scale (HSC) were used. The research was conducted on a sample of 481 people. The analyses indicate the favourable psychometric properties of the HSC scale in the Polish population of children aged 10–12. The sensitivity of girls correlates with musical and interpersonal abilities, the SPS of boys correlates also with logical-mathematical, natural, visual-spatial, intrapersonal, and general abilities. In the case of selected SPS factors, there is no relationship between the Ease of Excitation (EOE) and abilities, and there are many significant correlations between abilities and Aesthetic Sensitivity (AES). Keywords: environmental sensitivity; sensory processing sensitivity; multiple intelligences; Highly Sensitive Child Scale
... The HSP is a self-reported measure of the experience of perceptual sensitivity that has been linked to greater neural responses in higher order visual areas (e.g., Jagiellowicz et al., 2011), increased experience of non-ordinary states of consciousness under sensory deprivation (Jonsson, Grim, & Kjellgren, 2014;Kjellgren, Lindahl, & Norlander, 2009) as well as an overall increase in subjective reporting of health symptoms and stress (e.g., Benham, 2006;Grimen & Diseth, 2016). In order to gather a large enough sample to achieve statistical power that would allow us to identify correlations with self-report measures, we attempted to contact all participants who completed bCFS tasks in our lab during the 18 months prior to data collection. ...
Article
Perceptual conscious experiences result from non-conscious processes that precede them. We document a new characteristic of the cognitive system: the speed with which visual meaningful stimuli are prioritized to consciousness over competing noise in visual masking paradigms. In ten experiments (N = 399) we find that an individual's non-conscious visual prioritization speed (NVPS) is ubiquitous across a wide variety of stimuli, and generalizes across visual masks, suppression tasks, and time. We also find that variation in NVPS is unique, in that it cannot be explained by variation in general speed, perceptual decision thresholds, short-term visual memory, or three networks of attention (alerting, orienting and executive). Finally, we find that NVPS is correlated with subjective measures of sensitivity, as they are measured by the Highly Sensitive Person scale. We conclude by discussing the implications of variance in NVPS for understanding individual variance in behavior and the neural substrates of consciousness.
... The CHIPS has also demonstrated adequate reliability in Latinx samples, α = .93 (Benham, 2006). The Cronbach's alpha in the current study was .97 ...
... Moreover, people with high sensory sensitivity are more likely to experience negative psychological symptoms compared to individuals with normative sensory processing. In addition, the result is in line with the findings of previous studies that stated high sensory processing sensitivity is associated with more frequent symptoms of ill health (Benham 2006), and reduced quality of life (Pfeiffer et al 2014). ...
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Considering the high prevalence of depressive symptoms in adults, this study aimed at exploring the relationship between depression and sensory processing patterns in healthy adults. For this purpose, a number of 354 university students aged 20-45 years completed the PROMIS® Depression Item bank and Adolescent/Adult Sensory Profile®. The findings showed that there was a positive significant relationship between three of the sensory processing patterns and depression, including sensation avoiding, sensory sensitivity, and low registration and a negative significant relationship between depression and sensation seeking. As a conclusion, sensory processing patterns might be related to individuals' depression. Having insight into their sensory patterns can help them to reduce their depressive symptoms. This study may have implications for mental health professionals.
... When high sensitivity is managed adequately, it can become a personal resource with strong potential for generating personal realization in one's work. In other words, higher sensory susceptibility to any change in the work environment could lead to selecting coping strategies more adequate to the type of demand (emotion or problem) to which one is exposed [37,38]. Likewise, being a healthcare professional and feeling overburdened by internal or external demands, would become a risk factor. ...
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The study analyzes sensory processing sensitivity and the compassion satisfaction as risk/protective factors against burnout and compassion fatigue, during the first period of the COVID-19 health emergency. A sample of 1566 Spanish adult healthcare (n = 694) and education (n = 872) professionals was evaluated. An ad hoc questionnaire for sociodemographic data, and the highly sensitive person scale (HSPS), Maslach burnout inventory (MBI) and professional quality of life scale (ProQOL-vIV) were administered. Burnout and compassion fatigue were observed in the healthcare and education professionals, where personal realization and depersonalization were higher in healthcare and compassion fatigue in education. The protective role of compassion satisfaction was confirmed, as was sensory processing sensitivity as a risk factor, except for its low sensory threshold dimension, which positively influenced personal realization. The findings of this study demonstrate the presence of burnout and compassion fatigue in healthcare and education professionals, displaying compassion fatigue as an emerging psychosocial risk in education, which was made more severe under the conditions of study, which is at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. The importance of incorporating adequate management strategies for high sensitivity, empathy and compassion satisfaction in prevention programs is emphasized.
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The Interpersonal Sensitivities Circumplex (ISC) assesses individual differences in sensitivities to aversive interpersonal behaviors. In this research (total N = 1,519), we developed and validated a German adaptation of the ISC (ISC-G) and extended the nomological net of interpersonal sensitivity as a construct. Using the structural summary method, we investigated associations with self- and informant reports of adaptive (interpersonal) personality traits as well as self-reported personality functioning, maladaptive personality traits, childhood trauma, and hypersensitivity. Replicating and extending previous findings with the ISC, the present research sheds light on the interplay between different personality traits and the perception of others’ interpersonal behavior. Results suggested that individuals report experiencing interpersonal behavior opposite to their own self-description in terms of agency and communion as aversive. This oppositional pattern was most pronounced for antagonistic vs. agreeable traits/behaviors. We discuss these results in the context of research on personality pathology.
Article
Music listening is a great resource for mental well-being, pleasure, and self-regulation, but it may also be maladaptive. Depression, for instance, has been shown to relate to music use that is characterized by rumination, avoidance, and mood worsening. However, we know little of the role of individual differences in such maladaptive music use. Hence, this study focused on examining the role of personality, empathic traits, emotional contagion, and the types of musical reward as predictors of maladaptive music listening. Participants ( N = 318) answered an online survey comprising measures for the abovementioned traits in addition to the Healthy-Unhealthy Music Scale (HUMS) as a measure of maladaptive music use. Results demonstrated that Unhealthy musical engagement was predicted by a variety of traits representing general negative emotionality (e.g., Neuroticism, Personal Distress, contagion for negative emotions). Structural equation modeling highlighted the importance of the empathic trait Personal Distress in mediating Unhealthy musical engagement. Finally, we deliberate if maladaptive strategies are indeed “maladaptive” for such individuals or merely a coping mechanism, which is indeed adaptive for them, aiding to combat depressive and anxious states thereby preventing them from “tipping over” into depression.
Article
Sensory processing sensitivity is an individual difference that captures the extent to which people show heightened emotional reactivity to, and increased cognitive processing of, their environment. Although central to its definition, there has been no research examining whether highly sensitive individuals display stronger reactivity to naturally occurring negative and positive events in everyday life. We addressed this gap by carrying out a 21-day online diary study with 239 participants, varying in sensory processing sensitivity, who reported their daily life-satisfaction, affective experiences, and self-esteem along with appraisals of the most negative and positive events of the day. Multilevel analyses demonstrated that individuals higher in sensory processing sensitivity showed greater reactivity to more subjectively intense negative events, but no difference in their reactivity to positive events. These findings provide initial insights into how sensory processing sensitivity manifests in daily emotional reactivity with greater reactivity to negative events in our study.
Chapter
Domestic dogs differ enormously in both their morphology and behavior. Numerous factors can influence the development and expression of canine behavior and, more generally, determine the success of the pet–owner relationship. This chapter considers the role of nature and nurture in shaping canine behavior. The influence of factors intrinsic to the animal is outlined, focusing on research that has explored the role of breed, sex, and cerebral lateralization in guiding canine behavior and cognitive functioning. The chapter goes on to consider the role of more extrinsic factors that can influence the development of dog behavior, discussing the contribution of early experience, source of acquisition, training techniques, and owner-related traits including personality and attachment style. The article points to the enormous amount of individual variation that exists between dogs and the myriad of factors that can work together to shape the behavior and functioning of the animal we see before us.
Article
Background Adolescence is a developmental period that can place individuals at heightened risk of engaging in disordered eating patterns. Stress and coping have been included as etiological factors of eating pathology, yet the mechanism of this relationship in adolescent males and females remains understudied. Aims This study investigated the role of coping as a mediator in the stress-disordered eating relationship in a sample of adolescents. Demographics/settings Participants included 2262 grade 7–12 students from a larger cross-sectional study entitled, Research on Eating and Adolescent Lifestyles (REAL). Methodology/analyses Participants completed measures of perceived stress, life stressors, coping style, and disordered eating. Multiple mediator models of coping were analyzed to examine the extent to which coping mediated the stress-disordered eating relationship, for males and females separately. Findings Emotion-oriented coping was a significant partial mediator in the relationship between stress (perceived stress, life stressors) and disordered eating in male and female adolescents. Findings suggest adolescents experiencing high stress tend to engage in emotion-oriented coping, which may lead to greater levels of disordered eating. Implications Interventions targeting effective coping strategies for dealing with different stress types may prevent youth from disordered eating, thus reducing their risk of eating disorders during a vulnerable period in development.
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The Questionnaire on Sensory Processing Sensitivity in Children (QSPSinCh) is designed to measure the personality trait of Sensory Processing Sensitivity (SPS) in children aged 3 to 10 years. SPS is a phenotypic personality trait, characterised by deep cognitive, sensory and emotional processing of environmental information. SPS presents a wide range of levels, as individuals may show low, medium and high sensitivity levels (Greven et al., 2019). Thus, the SPS phenomenon greatly influences different spheres of life (Acevedo, 2020).
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While the link between sensory-processing sensitivity (SPS) and internalizing symptoms has been well-established, a link to externalizing problems is still to be explored. This study aimed to further examine the relation between SPS and behavioral problems by testing the potential mediating roles of trait emotional intelligence (TEI) and decision-making styles. Pathway analyses were conducted on data from 268 community sample participants (Mage = 25.81, SD = 2.41, 61.2% females). Results indicated gender differences in the pathway level outcomes of SPS, as well as potential partial mediators in men and women. SPS both directly and via the mediating effects of the well-being factor (TEI) and avoidant decision-making influenced depression, regardless of gender. Direct effects on aggression were, however, obtained only in the male sample. Indirect effects of SPS on aggression were found in spontaneous decision-making for men and in the self-control and sociability factors of TEI for women. Directions for future research were discussed
Article
Objective Sensory processing sensitivity (SPS) relates to individuals' sensitivity to stimuli and their emotional responses to adversity. SPS was found to be associated with a variety of stress-related disorders, however, little is known about the relationship between SPS and posttraumatic stress symptoms (PTSS). The current study aimed to examine interaction effects between SPS and early PTSS assessed daily during the first week after a motor vehicle collision on subsequent 1- and 4-months PTSS. Method Participants (N = 70; 38 [54.3%] women, aged 18–63) were screened and recruited during an Emergency Department visit following motor vehicle collisions. Online questionnaires included baseline SPS, early PTSS assessed daily on days 2–6 post-hospital visit, and follow-up 1- and 4-months PTSS. Results Linear regression analyses showed positive correlations between SPS and both follow-up PTSS, however, after controlling for early PTSS, SPS was not directly associated with PTSS at either follow-up. SPS also negatively moderated the association between early PTSS and 1-month PTSS. Conclusions SPS could potentially exacerbate early stress symptoms, which may further develop into lasting PTSD symptomatology. Identifying core characteristics of SPS associated with increased early stress reactions could assist in targeting people at risk that might benefit from early interventions following adverse events.
Article
Sensory Processing Sensitivity (SPS) is an individual difference that affects people’s thinking and behavior. People who are high in SPS, Highly Sensitive People (HSPs), are more sensitive to stimuli and prefer to take their time in thinking through problems. This study examined the effects of SPS and analytic mind-set on ethical decision-making. Mind-Set was manipulated by instructing participants to either think thoroughly through the ethical problem (deliberation) or focus on finding a concrete, practical solution when solving the problems (implementation). HSPs performed better in the deliberative mind-set, allowing them to solve the problem using their natural problem-solving approach. People low in SPS performed better in the implementation mind-set. Results suggest that ethics interventions should not be “one size fits all,” and should consider a person’s natural problem-solving tendencies.
Article
The article presents analysis and evaluation of information usefulness for recipients with different levels of experiencing sensitivity to brain processing sensory on the example of information and shopping internet services. Different levels of sensory processing sensitivity in recipients have an impact on the cognitive processes in their brain and the ways of processing information which, in turn, may result in different consumer behavior and their decisions. The study describes the basic methodological assumptions, the research evaluation procedure of information usefulness and various forms of informational content presentation, and also the results of data analysis from the study conducted on a group of respondents. In order to determine the factors that have the greatest impact on the perception of information usefulness on websites by users with different levels of sensory processing sensitivity, the data obtained from the study using various methods such as online questionnaire, usability testing and heuristic analysis were analyzed using the multi-criteria aggregate assessment method. Results of research presented in the article can be useful in creating assumptions for ways of content presentation and visualization of various forms of content building for the needs of different user groups for information and business websites.
Article
Introduction Sensory processing is crucial to adaptive behavioural responses in occupational therapy. Nevertheless, information on sensory processing in adults is limited. The Adult Sensory Processing Scale (ASPS) measures behavioural responses indicative of sensory processing in different sensory systems. The study aimed to examine the cultural adaptation, reliability and validity of the ASPS-Turkish (ASPS-T). Methods The ASPS-T was administered to 405 individuals, who were aged 18 to 64 (38.5 ± 11.4) years. The cross-cultural adaptation and translation procedures were conducted following Beaton’s guidelines. Internal consistency was examined by Cronbach’s alpha. Criterion-related validity of the ASPS was determined by the Adolescent/Adult Sensory Profile using Construct validity and was examined by confirmatory factor analysis using AMOS. Results The study included 405 participants (271 female and 134 male). Exploratory factor analysis with varimax rotation determined 11 factors with 55.15% total variance. In confirmatory factor analysis (CFA), model fit indices showed an acceptable fit. The reliability of the scale was 0.834, and test–retest reliability changed from 0.94 to 0.99, illustrating high internal consistency and excellent reliability of the scale. Conclusions The ASPS-T is reliable and valid for analysing sensory processing patterns of adults in the Turkish population.
Article
Background Childhood adversity is associated with somatization, including physical symptom burden and health anxiety. Attachment theory offers a developmental framework to understand adult somatization, as attachment phenomena are theoretically and empirically related to physiological regulation, affect regulation, and childhood adversity, all of which are relevant to somatization. Objective The purpose of this study was to identify the pathways by which childhood adversity and attachment insecurity influence physical symptom burden and health anxiety in adults. Participants and setting Three hundred and fifty-one family medicine patients from a teaching hospital in Toronto, Canada. Methods A cross-sectional survey study was conducted to assess adverse childhood experiences, attachment insecurity, health anxiety and physical symptom severity in primary care patients. Path Analysis using structural equation modeling (AMOS V.26, IBM, 2019) was used to test the model in which childhood adversity, attachment anxiety, attachment avoidance, symptom severity interact to influence health anxiety. Results The majority of the participants were white (66%), had completed post-secondary education (68%), and reported themselves to be in very good to excellent health (62%). Childhood adversity, attachment anxiety, attachment avoidance, health anxiety and symptom severity are all significantly correlated (ranges of rs = 0.29 to 0.63). Childhood adversity has a significant indirect effect on health anxiety with attachment anxiety and symptom severity as serial mediators (βindirect = 0.237, p = .001 and βdirect = 0.065, p = .244). Conclusions Overall, this model extends our understanding of the processes underlying adult somatization. Findings support that childhood adversity and attachment anxiety are predictors of symptom severity and health anxiety.
Article
Background: Sensory processing sensitivity (SPS) is a biologically based temperament trait associated with enhanced awareness and responsivity to environmental and social stimuli. Individuals with high SPS are more affected by their environments, which may result in overarousal, cognitive depletion, and fatigue. Method: We examined individual differences in resting-state (rs) brain connectivity (using functional MRI) as a function of SPS among a group of adults (M age = 66.13 ± 11.44 years) immediately after they completed a social affective "empathy" task. SPS was measured with the Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) Scale and correlated with rs brain connectivity. Results: Results showed enhanced rs brain connectivity within the ventral attention, dorsal attention, and limbic networks as a function of greater SPS. Region of interest analyses showed increased rs brain connectivity between the hippocampus and the precuneus (implicated in episodic memory); while weaker connectivity was shown between the amygdala and the periaqueductal gray (important for anxiety), and the hippocampus and insula (implicated in habitual cognitive processing). Conclusions: The present study showed that SPS is associated with rs brain connectivity implicated in attentional control, consolidation of memory, physiological homeostasis, and deliberative cognition. These results support theories proposing "depth of processing" as a central feature of SPS and highlight the neural processes underlying this cardinal feature of the trait.
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Responds to the criticism of the perceived stress scale (PSS) developed by the present author and colleagues (see record 1984-24885-001) by R. S. Lazarus et al (see record 1986-10765-001) in their defense of the hassles scale they developed. It is contended that the PSS predicts psychologic and physical symptoms and health behaviors after controlling for any redundancy with psychological symptom measures. (7 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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This article describes the experiences of five adults who are defensive toward sensations of touch, movement, vision, smell, sound, and taste that most people consider harmless. It also describes the strategies that they use when they perceive environmental stimuli to be aversive. These coping strategies are avoidance, predictability, mental preparation, talking through, counteraction, and confrontation. A conceptual framework is presented to enhance understanding and guide further study of sensory defensiveness in adults.
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Psychological stress is thought to undermine host resistance to infection through neuroendocrine-mediated changes in immune competence. Associations between stress and infection have been modest in magnitude, however, suggesting individual variability in stress response. We therefore studied environmental stressors, psychobiologic reactivity to stress, and respiratory illness incidence in two studies of 236 preschool children. In Study 1, 137 3- to 5-year-old children from four childcare centers underwent a laboratory-based assessment of cardiovascular reactivity (changes in heart rate and mean arterial pressure) during a series of developmentally challenging tasks. Environmental stress was evaluated with two measures of stressors in the childcare setting. The incidence of respiratory illnesses was ascertained over 6 months using weekly respiratory tract examinations by a nurse. In Study 2, 99 5-year-old children were assessed for immune reactivity (changes in CD4+, CD8+, and CD19+ cell numbers, lymphocyte mitogenesis, and antibody response to pneumococcal vaccine) during the normative stressor of entering school. Blood for immune measures was sampled 1 week before and after kindergarten entry. Environmental stress was indexed with parent reports of family stressors, and a 12-week respiratory illness incidence was measured with biweekly, parent-completed symptom checklists. The two studies produced remarkably similar findings. Although environmental stress was not independently associated with respiratory illnesses in either study, the incidence of illness was related to an interaction between child care stress and mean arterial pressure reactivity (beta = .35, p < .05) in Study 1 and to an interaction between stressful life events and CD19+ reactivity (beta = .51, p < .05) in Study 2.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
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Over a series of 7 studies that used diverse samples and measures, this research identified a unidimensional core variable of high sensory-processing sensitivity and demonstrated its partial independence from social introversion and emotionality, variables with which it had been confused or subsumed in most previous theorizing by personality researchers. Additional findings were that there appear to be 2 distinct clusters of highly sensitive individuals (a smaller group with an unhappy childhood and related variables, and a larger group similar to nonhighly sensitive individuals except for their sensitivity) and that sensitivity moderates, at least for men; the relation of parental environment to reporting having had an unhappy childhood. This research also demonstrated adequate reliability and content, convergent, and discriminant validity for a 27-item Highly Sensitive Person Scale.
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This article examines the relation between adult shyness and sensory-processing sensitivity and posits a new model in which the interaction of sensitivity and adverse childhood environment leads to negative affectivity (with the highly sensitive being more impacted), which in turn leads to shyness. Consistent with this model, two questionnaire studies (Ns = 96 and 213) supported three hypotheses: (a) sensory-processing sensitivity interacts with recalled quality of childhood parental environment to predict shyness, (b) sensory-processing sensitivity interacts in the same way with childhood environment to predict negative affectivity, and (c) the interaction effect on negative affectivity mediates the effect on shyness. Hypothesis 2 was tested and supported in an additional questionnaire study (N = 393) and also in an experiment (N = 160) that manipulated negative contemporaneous experience as an analog for adverse childhood environment.
Chapter
Attempting to understand the body’s signals is similar to trying to interpret the noises and sensations of the automobile that we drive. We do not have a computer printout of either the current physiological status of our body or the condition of the various systems of our car. Given this, we are in the position of attempting to understand a large array of ambiguous sensations about which we have at best a modicum of knowledge. Whether we are dealing with human bodies or inanimate cars, the awareness and reporting of symptoms are dependent on psychological or perceptual processes. Throughout this book, a large number of studies have outlined some of the parameters that determine when and why symptoms are reported. Before discussing some of the implications of symptom research, we present the following brief review of our current knowledge about the perception of physical symptoms.
Article
In her book, Making Work Work for the Highly Sensitive Person (see record 2004-00290-000 ), Barrie Jaeger weaves an interesting story of highly sensitive people in the workplace. Jaeger writes as one highly sensitive person to other highly sensitive people, addressing a nontechnical audience rather than one with a more empirical or experimental bent. This book is based on the primary assumption that there exists a group of individuals who can be classified as highly sensitive (highly sensitive persons, or HSPs). Jaeger focuses this text on one specific area where adjustment problems are likely to occur for HSPs--the workplace. There are several ways to read this book. One would be for highly sensitive individuals to use the book to understand their personalities and learn to cope with situations they find problematic. This group is the target audience. A second way to read this text would be as a research scientist seeking empirical support for Jaeger's construct of the highly sensitive person and evidence for the effectiveness of the suggested interventions. Jaeger raises a number of intriguing ideas about person-job fit, the identification of highly sensitive individuals, and responses that individuals need to make if they are highly sensitive. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
The current study utilized a path analytic strategy to examine the relationship between gender, neuroticism (N) and physical symptom reports. Trait self-focused attention and state negative affect (NA) were included as potential mediators. Results indicated that both gender and N have significant direct effects on symptom reports when considered in the same model. State NA partially mediated the relationship between N and symptom reports. Trait self-focused attention partially mediated the effects of N on symptom reports for women but not men. Findings are discussed with respect to the information processing aspects of individual differences in self-assessed health and directions for future research are suggested.
Article
Though the inclusion of multiplicative terms in multiple regression equations is often prescribed as a method for assessing interaction in multivariate relationships, the technique has been criticized for yielding results that are hard to interpret, unreliable (as a result of multicollinearity between the multiplicative term and its constituent variables), and even meaningless. An interpretation of a multiple regression equation with a multiplicative term in conditional terms reveals all these criticisms to be unfounded. In fact, it is better analytic strategy to include a multiplicative term than to exclude one. Complicated as quantitative political analysis may seem to the uninitiated, one of the most telling criticisms made against it is that it often oversimplifies an exceedingly complicated political reality. The penchant for simplicity and generality of explanation is, of course, one of the driving forces of science, and unfortunately, it sometimes drives too far. But oversimplification sometimes also occurs because political researchers do not know about or hesitate to use techniques that would allow them to detect more complicated patterns of relationship in data. A prime example of this is the technique considered in the following pages: the inclusion of multiplicative terms in multiple regression equations. Perhaps the most common simplification in quantitative analysis is the assumption of additivity-the assumption that the effect of an independent variable on a dependent variable is always the same, regardless of the level of other variables. The familiar multiple regression equation
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This study investigated 3 broad classes of individual-differences variables (job-search motives, competencies, and constraints) as predictors of job-search intensity among 292 unemployed job seekers. Also assessed was the relationship between job-search intensity and reemployment success in a longitudinal context. Results show significant relationships between the predictors employment commitment, financial hardship, job-search self-efficacy, and motivation control and the outcome job-search intensity. Support was not found for a relationship between perceived job-search constraints and job-search intensity. Motivation control was highlighted as the only lagged predictor of job-search intensity over time for those who were continuously unemployed. Job-search intensity predicted Time 2 reemployment status for the sample as a whole, but not reemployment quality for those who found jobs over the study's duration. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Investigated the association between shyness and symptoms of illness in young children and the types of symptoms differentiating shy and nonshy children. 16 shy children and 16 nonshy children (mean age 7 yrs 3 mo) were matched on sex, parental education, familial stress, and height-weight ratio. For 4 wks, parents recorded their children's health complaints and their own observations and conclusions of their children's health. There were more days on which shy children complained of unwellness and parents observed symptoms of unwellness than for nonshy children. Shy children made more affective complaints and were observed to experience more gastrointestinal upset. Several interpretations of the results are presented including the possibilities that lower thresholds for arousal in the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axes of shy children affected their immunocompetence, that parents of shy children and the children themselves were more sensitive to symptoms of illness, and that feeling unwell may contribute to shy behaviour. Results suggest that the health of shy children merits further study. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
The article describes a proposed model for considering sensory processing an important factor in young children's performance. The author reviews constructs from neuroscience and behavioral science to propose how the transaction among these constructs may provide a framework for understanding various patterns of behavior and for developing methods for handling young children's sensory processing needs in a functional and supportive manner. The author reviews data from a series of studies on the Sensory Profile, a family-report measure of a child's responses to sensory experiences during daily life, to illustrate the utility and possible quantitative support for the proposed model components in young children with and without disabilities (C)1997Aspen Publishers, Inc.
Article
The impact of sensory defensiveness on performance, behaviour and adjustment of children has been addressed in the literature, but little has been written concerning its impact on adults. The purpose of this study was to explore whether sensory-defensive adults had more symptoms of anxiety, depression and pain than adults without sensory defensiveness. Participants were 32 volunteers who were normal functioning adults aged 21 to 48 years, without physical or psychological diagnoses or history of abuse. They were screened to eliminate persons with undiagnosed psychological problems using the Forty-eight Item Counseling Evaluation. Participants were assigned to a sensory-defensive or non-sensory-defensive group based on their score on the ADULT-SI, a sensory history interview, which assesses sensory defensiveness in adults. The two groups were matched for age, gender and race. Participants were then administered the IPAT Anxiety Scale, the IPAT Depression Scale and the Pain Apperception Test. Differences were found between sensory-defensive and non-defensive adults in anxiety (p=0.014) and depression (p=0.019), but not in pain perception. Analysis of the screening scores of the Forty-eight Item Counseling Evaluation indicated an unexpected difference between groups in psychological adjustment (p=0.005). This study supports clinical impressions that sensory-defensive adults differ from non-defensive adults in some psychological parameters. A sequela of sensory defensiveness in adults may be a tendency towards increased symptoms of anxiety and depression. Further, investigation of sensory defensiveness and its sequelae in adults is recommended, using larger samples, more sensitive tools and various diagnostic categories. Exploration of the impact of sensory defensiveness on adult roles and performance and life satisfaction is also recommended. Copyright © 1999 Whurr Publishers Ltd.
Article
A perceived availability of social support measure (the ISEL) was designed with independent subscales measuring four separate support functions. In a sample of college students, both perceived availability of social support and number of positive events moderated the relationship between negative life stress and depressive and physical symptomatology. In the case of depressive symptoms, the data fit a “buffering” hypothesis pattern, i.e., they suggest that both social support and positive events protect one from the pathogenic effects of high levels of life stress but are relatively unimportant for those with low levels of stress. In the case of physical symptoms, the data only partially support the buffering hypothesis. Particularly, the data suggest that both social support and positive events protect one from the pathogenic effects of high levels of stress but harm those (i.e., are associated with increased symptomatology) with low levels of stress. Further analyses suggest that self-esteem and appraisal support were primarily responsible for the reported interactions between negative life stress and social support. In contrast, frequency of past social support was not an effective life stress buffer in either the case of depressive or physical symptomatology. Moreover, past support frequency was positively related to physical symptoms and unrelated to depressive symptoms, while perceived availability of support was negatively related to depressive symptoms and unrelated to physical symptoms.
Article
Previous research suggests that personality traits are related to poorer self-assessed health (SAH) and other health-relevant cognition. In the current study, the effects of neuroticism (N), extraversion (E) and their interaction on a variety of SAH and health cognition variables were examined in 66 male and 69 female participants. Previous relations between N, SAH, and self-reported health behavior were replicated and extended. N was also found to predict poorer health behavior self-efficacy, particularly in the presence of low E. E was positively related to health behavior, health behavior outcome expectancies and likelihood estimates for positive health outcomes. There was a curvilinear effect of E on SAH, such that E was related to higher symptom reports and poorer global health ratings only among individuals high in E. The findings suggest that N and E are reliable predictors of health-relevant cognition.
Article
Differences in personality and health-related ailments among 40 young women who were selected for high (HI) and low (LO) self-ratings of shyness and sociability were examined. Self- and independent-ratings of personality were also measured following a dyadic interaction with an unfamiliar woman. The analyses revealed a significant Shyness × Sociability interaction for measures of self-reported talkativeness and extraversion. HISHY/LOSOCIABLE subjects rated themselves significantly lower on amount of talking during the dyadic interaction and lower on extraversion compared with subjects in the other three groups. Extreme shyness was also a consistent predictor of both emotional and psychosomatic problems. HISHY subjects reported significantly more neuroticism, loneliness, depression, social anxiety, fearfulness, retrospective inhibition, and had lower self-esteem than their LOSHY counterparts. In addition, a significantly higher portion of HISHY subjects reported problems with allergies and gastrointestinal functioning compared with LOSHY subjects. These results provide further support for the independence of shyness and sociability, and replicate and extend earlier findings on the role of extreme shyness in emotional and psychosomatic problems.
Article
The present study investigated the association between psychophysiological reactivity and recovery and physical and psychological symptoms both directly and interactively with environmental stress. Symptoms, environmental stress, and psychophysiological reactivity to and recovery from a laboratory stressor were measured in 50 subjects. As in previous research, the results indicated a significant relationship between environmental stress and symptoms of illness. Although the data did not support a direct relationship between psychophysiological activity and illness, support for a buffering effect was found. Those individuals with greater physiological arousal to or slower recovery from a laboratory stressor exhibited a stronger relationship between environmental stress and symptoms than those who were less reactive or faster to recover. Implications of these results were discussed in the context of theoretical models relating stress and illness.
Article
This paper presents evidence from three samples, two of college students and one of participants in a community smoking-cessation program, for the reliability and validity of a 14-item instrument, the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS), designed to measure the degree to which situations in one's life are appraised as stressful. The PSS showed adequate reliability and, as predicted, was correlated with life-event scores, depressive and physical symptomatology, utilization of health services, social anxiety, and smoking-reduction maintenance. In all comparisons, the PSS was a better predictor of the outcome in question than were life-event scores. When compared to a depressive symptomatology scale, the PSS was found to measure a different and independently predictive construct. Additional data indicate adequate reliability and validity of a four-item version of the PSS for telephone interviews. The PSS is suggested for examining the role of nonspecific appraised stress in the etiology of disease and behavioral disorders and as an outcome measure of experienced levels of stress.
Article
We studied relationships between shyness and health during a health screening survey of older adults (ages 50-88) living in an active retirement community in the southwestern United States (n = 232). As in previous studies of infants, older individuals with hay fever, insomnia and constipation were more shy than those without these problems. Shy persons overall showed higher sitting systolic blood pressure and a larger fall in orthostatic systolic blood pressure on standing; shy men had a greater prevalence of hypertension histories than did low-shy men. Shy subjects of both sexes had lower HDL cholesterol and higher triglycerides than did low-shy subjects; shy women tended to have higher LDL cholesterol than did low-shy women. In contrast with findings of elevated salivary cortisol in extremely inhibited children of both sexes, only shy women had higher 24 h urinary free cortisol excretion than did low-shy women; men showed the opposite pattern, possibly related to suppression of aggression. Shy men also tended to report a higher prevalence of thyroid disease history than did low-shy men (20% versus 6%). Notably, autoimmune thyroiditis has previously been linked with panic and depression, disorders which in turn have been associated with shyness. Taken together with previous work in shy children and their families, the data raise the possibility of (a) increased risk for arteriosclerotic vascular disease; and (b) increased risk of adrenal- and/or thyroid-related diseases in certain shy older adults.
Article
This article describes a series of studies designed to evaluate the reliability and validity of the Adult Sensory Profile. Expert judges evaluated the construct validity of the items. Coefficient alpha, factor analysis, and correlations of items with subscales determined item reliability, using data from 615 adult sensory profiles. A subsample of 20 adults furnished skin conductance data. A heterogeneous group of 93 adults completed the revised Adult Sensory Profile, and item reliability was reexamined. Expert judgment indicated that items could be categorized according to Dunn's Model of Sensory Processing. Results suggested reasonable item reliability for all subscales except for the Sensation Avoiding subscale. Skin conductance measures detected distinct patterns of physiological responses consistent with the four-quadrant model. Revision of the Adult Sensory Profile resulted in improved reliability of the Sensation Avoiding subscale. The series of studies provides evidence to support the four subscales of the Adult Sensory Profile as distinct constructs of sensory processing preferences.
Article
The aim of the study was to examine the relationships between tendencies towards different mental health problems assessed via questionnaires (social phobia, agoraphobia, general anxiety/panic, depression), the two latent dimensions of behavioural inhibition (childhood social/school fears, non-social fears/ illness), and sensory-processing sensitivity. A cross-sectional design was employed. Volunteer participants (N = 234) from anxiety and depression self-help organizations completed five mailed questionnaires. These were the Social Phobia and Anxiety Inventory, Beck Depression Inventory II and Beck Anxiety Inventory; the Highly Sensitive Person Scale, a measure of trait sensitivity to environmental stimuli; and the Retrospective Self-Report of Inhibition. Higher levels of anxiety, but not depression, were associated with increased self-reported sensitivity to environmental stimuli. Recalled childhood social/school fears were related to elevated scores on measures of social phobia and depression, while recalled non-social fears/illness were not associated with any index of psychopathology. These results extend those of previous research by suggesting specific patterns of relationships of both sensitivity to environmental stimuli and behavioural inhibition with symptoms of anxiety and depression. It is suggested that in investigating long-term outcome, prospective behavioural inhibition studies would benefit from examining the temporal corollaries of the underlying social and non-social dimensions. Sample and design limitations are discussed.
Article
This pilot study explored the relationship between sensory defensiveness and anxiety, as well as the impact of a sensory integration treatment protocol on normal adults. Fifteen adult subjects identified as having sensory defensiveness completed the Adult Sensory Questionnaire (ASQ), Adult Sensory Interview (ADULT-SI), and Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI) at pre-test and post-test intervals to measure sensory defensiveness and anxiety. A treatment protocol was implemented which included providing insight into sensory defensiveness, regular and daily sensory input, and engagement in activities of choice providing primarily proprioceptive, vestibular and tactile sensory input. Subjects engaged in an individualized self-treatment protocol for one month. Results indicated a significant correlation between anxiety and sensory defensiveness (r = 0.62,p = 0.027). The differences in pre-test and post-test mean scores of the Adult Sensory Interview (p = 0.048) and the Beck Anxiety Inventory (p = 0.0453) supported the use of a sensory treatment protocol to decrease sensory defensiveness and secondary anxiety. There is a need for further research using experimental methodology with a control group to explore the effectiveness of a sensory treatment protocol on sensory defensiveness and anxiety. Copyright
The Highly Sensitive Person
  • E N Aron
Aron, E. N. (1996). The Highly Sensitive Person. New York: Broadway.
Perceived stress in a probability sample of the United States The social psychology of health: Claremont symposium on applied social psychology
  • S Cohen
  • G Williamson
Cohen, S., & Williamson, G. (1988). Perceived stress in a probability sample of the United States. In S. Spacapan & S. Oskamp (Eds.), The social psychology of health: Claremont symposium on applied social psychology. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.
Contrasting the hassle scale and the perceived stress scale
  • Cohen