Replication of the existence of three sensitivity groups in a sample of German adolescents

Tillmann, Teresa; Bertrams, Alex; El Matany, Katharina; Lionetti, Francesca (2021). Replication of the existence of three sensitivity groups in a sample of German adolescents. European journal of developmental psychology, 18(1), pp. 131-143. Taylor & Francis 10.1080/17405629.2020.1763791

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Various theories suggest that human beings differ regarding their susceptibility to environmental stimuli, some of these theories have their origin in the field of developmental psychology. From an evolutionary perspective, it has been assumed that this susceptibility trait follows a normal distribution in the population, with a minority being particularly sensitive to environmental stimuli. However, empirical evidence on identifiable groups of differently sensitive adolescents is still scarce, and there is a lack of cultural comparison. Based on this reserach gap, the goal of the present study was to replicate existing studies investigating sensitivity groups in a sample of adolescents attending schools in Germany. A sample of 749 adolescents (45% female; Mage = 15.29, SDage = 1.45), coming from all three typical types of schools in Germany, participated in the study by completing a shortened and translated 10-item version of the original Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) scale. Results supported the existence of three sensitivity groups that differed significantly from each other on their respective mean HSP scores. At the same time, however, findings revealed evidence for a deviation from existing findings, as the low sensitive group was smaller, and the medium and high sensitivity groups were larger. Measurements and cultural aspects are discussed.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Education > Educational Psychology

UniBE Contributor:

Bertrams, Alexander Gregor


100 Philosophy > 150 Psychology
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 370 Education




Taylor & Francis




Alexander Gregor Bertrams-Pencik

Date Deposited:

25 Feb 2021 14:11

Last Modified:

28 Feb 2021 02:57

Publisher DOI:



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