Measuring Environmental Sensitivity in Educational Contexts: A Validation Study With German-Speaking Students


  •  Teresa Tillmann    
  •  Katharina El Matany    
  •  Heather Duttweiler    

Abstract

Sensory-Processing Sensitivity (SPS), as part of the general theory on Environmental Sensitivity (Pluess, 2015), is a temperamental individual difference variable, referring to sensitive perception and processing of as well as reflection upon environmental stimuli. For its measurement, Aron and Aron (1997) developed the Highly Sensitive Person Scale (HSP Scale) for application with adults. However, despite some adaption into German (Konrad & Herzberg, 2017) and a first English version for children (Pluess et al., 2018), no suitable measures of SPS for children exist in German. The presented two studies aimed at developing and validating a short, 10-item German version of the scale, which can be administered efficiently in educational field studies with German-speaking secondary school students. The factorial structure, its relationship with other personality traits (i.e., the Big Five; McCrae & Costa, 1990) and exploratory analyses on relationships with additional school-related variables were revealed using data from two independent student samples (N = 301 German academic-track secondary school students and N = 460 German vocational track secondary school students). Relations to existing research, practical implications for the educational context, and limitations of the studies are discussed.



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