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Psychol Rep. 2003 Feb;92(1):43-50.

Childhood dental fear in relation to parental child-rearing attitudes.

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Department of Cariology, Endodontology, Pedodontology, Academic Centre for Dentistry Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


The aim of this study was to assess the relation between parental self-reported child-rearing attitudes and dental fear in children. The parents of 51 children with high dental fear and of 56 children with low dental fear, of different age groups, completed the Amsterdam version of the Parental Attitude Research Instrument. In addition, parents were asked to rate their own dental fear. Multivariate analysis of variance (child fear x parental fear x child age) showed a significant main effect only of child dental fear on parental self-complaints (p = .03). For parental dental fear, main effects were found on overprotection and on promotion of autonomy (p < or = .01). No age effects were found. Also, no relation between children's dental fear and parental dental fear was found. Based on the present findings, it was concluded that parents may play a more secondary, mediating role in the etiological process of dental fear in children.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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