Predictors of dental anxiety in six-year-old children: findings from a pilot study

B. Corkey, R. Freeman

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37 Citations (Scopus)


The pilot study reported here is based on interviews with sixty, 6-year-old children randomly selected from a school population (and their mothers), to investigate predictors of dental anxiety in this age-group. The results demonstrated that child dental anxiety status was significantly related to dental factors, psychological developmental factors, and maternal factors. When all sixty data sets were entered into a regression analysis, 92 percent of the variance of the relationship of child dental anxiety could be predicted by eight factors in the three categories (F = 7.39, P < 0.001). The study demonstrated that the child's ability to cope with dental treatment (as reflected in reported disruptive behaviors) was based upon his/her degree of psychological development together with the mother's fear of dental treatment. It seems that an interaction exists, in which the role of the mother plays a central part influencing on the one hand the child's degree of psychological development and on the other the child's ability to cope with dental treatment. The findings from this preliminary study suggest that factors such as these should be considered by dentists when assessing their child patients, in order to identify and help the anxious child cope with dental care.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)267-271
Number of pages5
JournalASDC Journal of Dentistry for Children
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Dentistry


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