A comparison of psychosocial factors related to dental anxiety among Turkish and finnish pre-adolescents

Ayse Basak Cinar, Heikki Murtomaa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: To assess psychological, individual and maternal factors related to dental anxiety among pre-adolescents in the different cultural settings of Turkey and Finland. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional study of Finnish (n = 338) and Turkish (n = 611) pre-adolescents aged 10-12 years old by paired matching of questionnaires for the subjects and their mothers. These questionnaires, along with modified dental anxiety scales, were designed to collect data on the pre-adolescents' and their mothers' oral and dietary behaviours in relation to psychosocial factors. Multiple linear regression and factor analyses as well as descriptive and correlation statistics were applied. Results: The Turkish pre-adolescents (TP) reported poorer dental health (50%) and more frequent gingival bleeding (26%) than did the Finnish pre-adolescents (FP) (26%, 0%), (p < 0.05). A similar trend occurred for reported toothache (70% and 17% for TP and FP respectively [p = 0.00]). Mean dental anxiety (DA) for TP and their mothers, and Finnish counterparts respectively were 9.64 ± 6.01, 8.70 ± 4.53 and 7.39 ± 4.51, 6.02 ± 5.50 (p < 0.05). Among TP, those with low DA reported high levels of toothbrushing and dietary self-efficacy (DSES) and self-esteem (p < 0.05); FP showed similar trends for DSES and self-esteem. Principal component analysis revealed that maternal DA and regular dental visits largely accounted for primary associations with DA among TP. Conclusions: Appreciating the impact of various psychosocial factors may provide a better understanding of DA among preadolescents, and thus may reduce dental avoidance and behavioural management problems for the overall improvement of young patients' oral health.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)173-179
Number of pages7
JournalOral Health and Preventive Dentistry
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2007


  • Culture
  • Dental anxiety
  • Maternal influence
  • Pre-adolescents
  • Psychosocial

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dental Hygiene


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