Re-examining the epidemiology of sensory regulation dysfunction and comorbid psychopathology

Karen R. Gouze*, Joyce Hopkins, Susan A. LeBailly, John V. Lavigne

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


The aims of this study were threefold: (1) to compare prevalence of sensory regulation dysfunction based on previously established criteria to rates established with a more representative community sample of 796 4-year-olds; (2) to examine ethnic/racial and gender differences in prevalence according to the different criteria; and (3) to examine the co-occurrence of sensory regulation dysfunction and preschool psychiatric disorders. Prevalence rates ranged from 3.4% (current criteria) to 15.6% (previous criteria). In contrast to previous studies with less representative samples, there were no significant ethnic or racial differences using the current criteria. Boys were more likely to have sensory regulation dysfunction than girls according to all criteria. Depending upon impairment criteria used, 33-63% of children meeting criteria for sensory dysregulation also had a psychiatric disorder; 37-67% had only a sensory dysregulation disorder, indicating that sensory regulation dysfunction exists independent of psychiatric disorder, and is also a significant risk factor for disorder.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1077-1087
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Abnormal Child Psychology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Nov 2009


  • Epidemiology
  • Psychopathology
  • Regulation
  • Sensory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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