Abstract

A three-phase study was conducted to develop an attitude scale measuring tactile defensiveness in children aged 6 to 10 years. It was assumed that the effects of tactile defensiveness on the perception and behavior of children produces stereotypical responses that can be measured by an attitude scale. A 49-item scale was developed and administered to 80 normal and 22 tactually defensive children within a large suburban school district. A subsequent item analysis reduced the scale to 26 items. This touch scale yielded an internal consistency reliability of .79432 and could distinguish between groups at a statistically significant level (.0073). The touch scale offers potential for diagnosing tactually defensive children. However, future research is required before it can be employed as a diagnostic tool. Such research could focus on the test-retest reliability of the scale and the refinement of the diagnostic validity of the test.

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