Mellem sensitivitet, trivsel og almindeliggørelse - En kritisk psykologisk perspektivudforskning af betingelser for ’særligt sensitive’ børns deltagelse i skole og hjem

Nina Melissa Mølgaard, Maja Bøllemose Gammelgaard Jensen, Hannah Lou Harste, Marie Wandborg Hillmann & Mikkel Bech Bygum Morgen

Student thesis: Termpaper


This project takes its point of departure in a skepticism towards the per- ceived personality trait ‘highly sensitive’ originally coined by American psychologist Elaine Aron. Its main purpose is to examine how the participa- tion of the apparent highly sensitive siblings, Carl and Mille, in school and at home are conditional on the diverse and conflictual perspectives on them held by parents and teachers – and conversely, how these perspectives might be understood in relation to the practice structures of the various contexts as well as the ‘highly sensitive’ as an repertoire of specific meanings. Further- more, the project presents a critical psychological reconception of the ‘high- ly sensitive’ as an alternative to the essentialist point of view. The method consists of qualitative interviews, participatory observations and, diary analysis. The project helps to illustrate how the essentialist notion of the ‘highly sensitive’ produces certain conditions for children’s participation through and across different practice contexts. Furthermore, it is discussed how these conditions become conflictual in relation to the strongly founded and contradictory practice structures of school as well as due to the marked divergence in the perspectives on Carl and Mille held by parents and teach- ers – hereby serving as a challenge to the children’s conduct of everyday life. Finally, the project functions as an problemization of the idea that the ‘highly sensitive’ as an intrinsic personality trait should be accounted for more heavily in the school system’s procedures and practice structures and as such, it is argued that the professional work with children should rather focus on the various and ambiguous conditions and perspectives that influ- ence their everyday life.

EducationsPsychology, (Bachelor/Graduate Programme) Undergraduate or graduate
Publication date17 May 2015
SupervisorsStephan Søndergaard Sieland


  • Childrens daily life
  • Perspective analysis
  • Highly Sensitivity
  • Critical psychology