Publication Date

Spring 4-6-2016


School of Behavioral Sciences




Sensory processing, ADHD, Attachment


Psychology | Social and Behavioral Sciences


The purpose of this study was to explore possible correlations between overall sensory processing responsivity and relationship attachment, as well as between sensory subscales and relationship attachment. It also tested for a difference between sensory processing patterns among young adults with and without ADHD. The sample included 370 college students: 32 who had received an ADHD diagnosis and 338 who had not. Participants completed an online self-report survey made up of various demographics questions, the Sensory Processing Quotient (SPQ), and the Experiences in Close Relationships – General/Global Scale (ECR-General). A significant correlation was discovered between general SPQ scores and relationship anxiety (r = -.118, p = .030). Significant correlations were also evident between vision scores and both relationship anxiety (r = -.183, p < .001) and avoidance (r = -.131, p = .013). Correlations were small but statistically significant. Finally, no significant difference in total SPQ scores was discovered between young adults with and without ADHD. Results imply that sensory reactivity is related to relationship attachment, but not to ADHD. Therefore, sensory processing difficulties may be completely unrelated to ADHD symptomology. However, these results are inconsistent with previous research, and further studies need to take place to ensure reliability of results.

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