Brianna Hartford

Brianna Hartford

University of New Hampshire

Occupational Therapy


Mentor: Dr. Shelly Mulligan, Department of Occupational Therapy

A Criterion-Validity Study of the Sensory Processing 3- Dimensions Measure

Sensory processing is the ability to input and process information through the sensory systems (visual, auditory, tactile, taste/smell, vestibular, and proprioception) and respond to the sensory stimuli in an adaptive way (Miller, Anzalone, Lane, Cermak, & Osten, 2007). Sensory processing is necessary for children to play, learn, socialize with other children, and complete basic activities of daily living. When children experience a sensory processing disorder, they may struggle with schoolwork, social interactions, and daily life in general. Therefore, when problems with sensory processing exist, it is critical that they be identified early in a child’s life. Then, occupational therapy interventions and other support services can be put in place to remediate the sensory processing concerns or to help the child compensate for them in daily life. Currently, there are few comprehensive assessments available for measuring sensory processing in children. The Sensory Processing 3- Dimensions Measure (SP-3D) is an assessment tool that is being designed as an objective, performance-based measure of sensory modulation, sensory-based motor abilities, and sensory discrimination in children ages three to twelve years.                         

This research study involves administering the research edition of the SP-3D to a sample of children. Their caregivers will be asked to complete the Sensory Processing Measure (Parham & Ecker, 2007), a survey about their children’s social participation and sensory processing that is known to assess sensory processing functions. It is hypothesized that the scores of the Sensory Processing 3- Dimensions Measure will correlate moderately and positively with the scores of the Sensory Processing Measure (Parham & Ecker, 2007), demonstrating criterion-related validity for the SP-3D. This study will be combined with other studies using the SP-3D to support multiple aspects of validity for the SP-3D. Once complete, the SP-3D will benefit the field of occupational therapy for both clinical and research purposes.


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