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Angle Orthod. 2009 Jan;79(1):12-6. doi: 10.2319/071307-328.1.

Self-concept and the perception of facial appearance in children and adolescents seeking orthodontic treatment.

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  • 1Department of Orthodontics, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7450, USA.



To examine, in adolescents with mild to moderate malocclusion, the relationship between self-concept and demographic characteristics, a clinical assessment of malocclusion, self-perception of malocclusion, and self-perception of facial attractiveness.


Fifty-nine consecutive patients ages 9 to 15 years scheduled for initial records in a graduate orthodontic clinic consented to participate. Each subject independently completed the Multidimensional Self-Concept Scale (MSCS), the Facial Image Scale, and the Index of Treatment Need-Aesthetic Component (IOTN-AC). Peer Assessment Rating (PAR) scores were obtained from the patients' diagnostic dental casts. Forward multiple-regression analysis with a backward overlook was used to analyze the effect of the demographic, clinical, and self-perception measures on each of the six self-concept (MSCS) domains.


Self-perception of the dentofacial region was the only statistically significant predictor (P < .05) for the Global, Competence, Affect, Academic, and Physical domains of self-concept, while age, parental marital status, and the adolescent's self-perception of the dentofacial region were statistically significant predictors (P < .05) of Social Self-Concept.


The self-perceived level of the attractiveness or "positive" feelings toward the dentofacial region is more strongly related to self-concept than the severity of the malocclusion as indicated by the PAR score or by the adolescent's perception of their malocclusion.

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