Psychosocial factors correlated with children's dental anxiety

Stomatologija. 2017;19(3):84-90.


Authors developed an idea of seven blocks with different psychosocial factors that could correlate with children's dental anxiety and explain its variance. Aim of the study was to evaluate correlation between psychosocial factors and children's dental anxiety. Totally, 240 randomly selected children (mean age M=7.96, SD=2.61, range 4 to 12) and their parents took part in the study. Parents evaluated their own (MDAS) and their children's anxiety (CFSS-DS). Psychosocial factors were evaluated by a large questionnaire, developed for this study. Dental status was fixed and child's behavior in dental setting was evaluated with Frankl's scale. Pearson's correlation of CDA with all variables and stepwise linear regression with the correlating variables within the seven psychosocial factor blocks was performed. Dental experience and attitude factors (crying at dentist and dental treatment with difficulties) as well as Children's personality and behavior factors (general anxiety and children's behavior at dentist) gave the most effect on CDA, totally explaining 56% and 54% of variance, respectively. Children's medical experience and attitude factors (anxiety and caution towards doctors) as well as Parental/information factors (parental dental anxiety, promising prizes before treatment) explained 34% and 31% of CDA variance, respectively. Socio-economic factors (number of children and mother's age) explained 15%, but oral care habits and attitude (brushing as obligation) - 14% of CDA variance. Family distress factors had no correlation with CDA and were excluded of further analysis. Children's dental anxiety variance is at best explained by Child's dental experience and attitude factors and Child's personality and behavior factors.

MeSH terms

  • Attitude to Health*
  • Child
  • Child Behavior / psychology*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Dental Anxiety / psychology*
  • Dental Care for Children
  • Family / psychology
  • Fear / psychology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Personality*