Child's dental anxiety: the role of previous medical experience and social status

This paper describes a study whose aim was to compare the influence of previous medical experience, maternal anxiety and socio-economic circumstances on the children's behaviour, as well as to determine to which extent analysed variables play a role in the development of a child's dental anxiety. We also attempted to rank etiological factors potentially contributing to the formation of the child's uncooperative behaviour. The study was performed on eighty nine pairs of mothers and their children aged 5,5 12,5 years, belonging to different socio-economic classes. The children were divided into four groups according to gender and experience of dental trauma. The Corah Dental Anxiety Scale (DAS) was used to asses the mother's (MDAS) and child's (DAS) dental anxiety along with Broome's Child Medical Fear Questionnaire (CMFQ) to determine fear of medical procedures. The Hollingshead Two Factor Index of Social Position (ISP) was computed to group children into socio-economic classes. Factor analysis was performed and two factors were extracted discribing the interrelationship between the original four variables. The first factor was defined by CMFQ and CDAS and was named the childs total fear factor, explaining 40,8 percent of the total variance. The second factor was defined mainly by MDAS and ISP and was defined as the childs social environment factor, explaining 28 % of the total variance. In conclusion, factor analysis suggests that factors contributing to the appearance of child dental anxiety can be identified as the factor of previous medical experience and the factor of child's social environment, which play a significant role in the aetiology of child dental fear.
Category: Original scientific paper
Volume: Vol. 45, No 3, july - september 2001
Authors: M. Majstorović, D. Glavina, I. Škrinjarić
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