Graduate Research Papers


Open Access Graduate Research Paper


Humans have relied on their five senses--sight, hearing, touch, taste, and smell--for purposes of communication within their environment. The most crucial of all the senses is that of touch. Touch is a basic human need and is the first form of communication humans experience (Jones, 1994). According to Colton (1983), touching is necessary throughout the lifespan. As humans mature, their reaching and touching needs change. Infants and 1 children progress from relying on their parents to being more independent and self-sufficient. The process of maturation is an important component to personal growth and development and manifests different touch needs. Buscaglia (1984) suggested that humans' ability to become emotionally involved with others is directly related to their experiences of being stroked, caressed, and cuddled as children. Human beings learn affection, security, and tenderness through the sense of touch. Small children rely on touch to soothe their bumps and bruises. Reassuring hugs comfort adults who have experienced grief, hurt feelings, or failure. Professional athletes can be seen exchanging hugs of celebration on the field or court (McAuliffe & McAuliffe, 1984).

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Department of Educational Administration and Counseling

First Advisor

Ann Vernon


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