An Investigation of the Association between School-Aged Children’s Sensory Processing and Their Self-Reported Leisure Activity Participation and Preferences

Emma Brady, Ted Brown

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Limited research currently exists that examines typically-developing children’s sensory processing and how this effects their leisure activity participation and preferences. To investigate the association between sensory processing and the self-reported leisure activity participation and preferences in children aged seven to 12 years. 24 children (10 females, 14 males; mean age: 9.70 years; SD = 1.83 completed the Children’s Assessment of Participation and Enjoyment/Preferences for Activities of Children (CAPE/PAC). Each child’s primary caregiver completed the Sensory Processing Measure–Home Form (SPM). Data were analyzed using Spearman rho correlation and linear regression analyses with bootstrapping. Twelve significant correlations were identified between the SPM and CAPE subscales and four were identified between SPM and PAC subscales. Of the SPM subscales, Touch (rho = −.560 to.445, p < .01) and SPM Total score (rho = −.541 to.426, p < .01) had the highest number of significant correlations with the CAPE. Significant correlations identified between the SPM and the PAC included: i) SPM Body Awareness and PAC Formal Activities Preference (rho =.405 to.451, p < .05); ii) SPM Balance and Motion and PAC Self-Improvement Activities Preference (rho = −.447, p < .05); and iii) SPM Visual and PAC Social Activities Preference (rho =.434, p < .05). Regression analysis results identified significant predictive relationships between the SPM Total score and the intensity of participation in two CAPE activity types and one activity domain: i) CAPE Self-Improvement Activities Intensity (p = .015, Adjusted R=.206); ii) CAPE Social Activities Intensity (p = .05, Adjusted R=.127); and iii) CAPE Informal Activities Intensity (p = .013, Adjusted R2 =.213). A significant predictive relationship was identified between children’s intensity of participation in CAPE Self-Improvement, Social and Informal Activities and their SPM Total score. This indicates that challenges with multisensory processing may negatively impact the frequency of children’s participation in leisure activities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)51-77
Number of pages27
JournalJournal of Occupational Therapy, Schools, and Early Intervention
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • activity
  • children
  • leisure
  • occupational therapy
  • participation
  • self-report
  • Sensory processing

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