Psychometric Properties of the Chinese Version of the Highly Sensitive Child Scale Across Age Groups, Gender, and Informants

D. Liu*, A. van Dijk, S. Lin, Z. Wang, M. Dekovic, J.S. Dubas

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Sensory Processing Sensitivity (SPS) is theorized to be a fundamental trait capturing children’s general sensitivity to the environment. Yet, scientific knowledge of SPS is mostly based on findings from Western cultures and few translated measures exist to assess children’s SPS outside of Western countries. Therefore, we developed the Chinese Highly Sensitive Child (HSC) scale. In Study 1, we investigated the scale’s psychometric properties for both self-reports (N = 2925, Mage = 11.74 years, 43.3% girls) and caregiver reports (n = 460, Mchild age = 9.02 years, 44.0% girls). Findings replicated most psychometric properties found in international studies including: (a) a bifactor structure with one general sensitivity component and three specific components, (b) acceptable internal consistency of the total scale (although not for self-report of elementary school children, and not for the subscales), and (c) at least partial invariance across age groups, gender, and informants. In Study 2, we investigated convergent validity with related temperament and personality measures using self-reports from both elementary school children (n = 845, Mage = 9.71 years, 41.9% girls) and middle school children (n = 563, Mage = 13.17 years, 43.2% girls). Findings replicated bivariate associations found in Western studies: Ease of Excitation (EOE) was associated with more positive traits, whereas Aesthetic Sensitivity (AES) was associated with more negative traits, suggesting that EOE and AES may capture the “dark” and “bright side” of sensitivity, respectively. We hope that our studies help spur research on SPS across western and Chinese cultures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1755–1780
Number of pages26
JournalChild Indicators Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2023


  • Sensory processing sensitivity
  • Highly sensitive child scale
  • Environmental sensitivity
  • Chinese children
  • Bifactor model
  • Personality


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