Objective: The aim of this study was to develop a valid and reliable measure for oral health behaviour and its determinants in five-year-old Flemish children, based on the Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB) and to test its predictive validity.
Methods: 1157 parents of five-year-olds completed a questionnaire measuring three behaviours related to oral health among children (dietary habits, oral hygiene, dental attendance) and their determinants (attitude, subjective norms, perceived behavioural control, intention). The sample was randomly split in two halves and principal component analyses were performed on one half sample to identify the factor structure. Confirmatory factor analyses were performed on the remaining half sample to obtain a cross-validation. Predictive validity was tested using multiple regression analyses.
Results: For each behaviour four component structures reflecting the TPB-dimensions, accounting for 44% to 55% of the variance were retrieved and confirmed in the cross-validation. Internal consistency (Cronbach's alpha) of the scales ranged from 0.52 to 0.80. A sizeable percentage of variance of intentions and behaviours was explained by the model.
Conclusions: The TPB components were significant predictors of intentions and behaviours. These findings argue for the reliability and validity of the questionnaire for exploring determinants underlying parental oral health behaviour.