The relationship between children’s sensory processing patterns and their leisure preferences and participation patterns: La relation entre les schèmes d’intégration sensorielle des enfants et leurs préférences et schèmes de participation en matière de loisirs

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Abstract

Background.

Sensory processing patterns may be associated with children’s preferences for different activities; however, knowledge about how different sensory processing patterns may relate to children’s participation in leisure activities is scarce.

Purpose.

This study investigated in what leisure activities children with extreme sensory processing patterns participate and if relationships exist between children’s sensory processing patterns and their leisure preferences and participation patterns.

Method.

This correlational study analyzed data from children’s Sensory Profiles and reported play and leisure preferences. All 91 children in the sample completed the Children’s Assessment for Participation and Enjoyment (CAPE) and the Preferences for Activities of Children (PAC). Parents of children ages 6 to10 years completed the Sensory Profile, and children ages 11 to 14 years completed the Adolescent/Adult Sensory Profile.

Findings.

Children with different sensory processing patterns preferred both similar and distinct leisure activities. Low-registration quadrant summary z scores negatively correlated with CAPE overall diversity scores (rs = –.23, p = .03), sensitivity quadrant summary z scores negatively correlated with preferences for social activities (rs = –.23, p = .03) and preferences for skill-based activities (rs = –.22, p = .04), and avoiding quadrant summary z scores negatively correlated with preferences for social activities (rs = –.26, p =.01).

Implications.

Children’s sensory preferences are related to leisure preferences and participation.

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