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Environmental sensitivity in children: Development of the Highly Sensitive Child Scale and identification of sensitivity groups.

Pluess, M., Assary, E., Lionetti, F., Lester, K. J., Krapohl, E., Aron, E. N., & Aron, A. (2018), Developmental Psychology, 54(1), 51-70. doi: 10.1037/dev0000406

This empirical paper describes the development of the Highly Sensitive Child (HSC) scale, a self-report measure of Environmental Sensitivity for children aged eight years and older.

The paper features five studies based on four different UK-based samples with a total of 3581 children and adolescents.

The psychometric properties of the new measure are reported as well as associations with related traits.

Finally, the paper investigates the existence of different sensitivity groups. Findings suggest that the HSC is a reliable and valid measure of Environmental Sensitivity in children and adolescents.

Furthermore, the paper reports the existence of three sensitivity groups: high (about 20 –35% of children), medium (about 41– 47%), and low (about 25–35%).