The “Longing for Interpersonal Touch Picture Questionnaire”: Development of a new measurement for touch perception

Authors:
Ilona Croy, Uta Sailer, Johanna Bendas, Ria Beßler
Published Online:
27 Aug 2019
DOI:
10.1002/ijop.12616

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Touch is a crucial factor of physiological and psychological health in humans. A lack of touch in contrast is associated with adverse implications on mental health. A new “Longing for Interpersonal Touch Picture Questionnaire (LITPQ)” was developed and tested for its concurrent, predictive, discriminant and face validity as well as its relation to psychological distress. Six different types of touch were depicted and touch frequency and touch wish concerning different interaction partners assessed. A sample of 110 participants aged 18–56 years completed the LITPQ as well as an existing touch deprivation questionnaire and a questionnaire on mental health. Frequency and wish for touch were higher for close interaction partners than for strangers. For 72.7% of the participants, their touch wish exceeded the reported touch frequency. The LITPQ correlated moderately with the existing questionnaire for touch deprivation and was independent of relationship status or gender but positively correlated with depressiveness, anxiety and somatization. Measuring longing for touch is a very complex task considering the many aspects of subjective touch perception and confounds in the method of self‐report of touch. In our view, the LITPQ provides promising insights into this matter.

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