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Acta Odontol Scand. 2008 Apr;66(2):99-104. doi: 10.1080/00016350802001322.

Correlation of parenting style and pediatric behavior guidance strategies in the dental setting: preliminary findings.

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Department of Pediatric Dentistry, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran.



The aim of this study was to investigate the influence of parenting style on the choice of proper behavior guidance strategies in pedodontics.


Seventy-two children aged between 4 and 6 years (mean 5.12 years) with carious primary mandibular molars were selected. The Primary Caregivers' Practices Report (PCPR) was used to quantify authoritarian, permissive and authoritative aspects of the caregivers' parenting style. After inferior alveolar nerve block, carious lesions were removed and the teeth were restored using amalgam. The children's behavior during operation was assessed according to the sound, eye, and motor (SEM) scale. Communicative guidance, advance behavior guidance, parental separation, and deferred treatment were used for behavior management.


The dominant authoritative score was observed in 50% of parents, permissive in 37.5%, and authoritarian in 12.5%. The mean SEM score in children belonging to authoritative parents was significantly lower than in children of permissive and of authoritarian parents (p<0.05). Communicative guidance was necessary for all patients regardless of parenting style. Advanced behavior guidance (protective stabilization) was applied in 16.7% of cases in the authoritative category and in 100% in the permissive and authoritarian categories. The use of restrictive devices (7.4%) and sedation (3.7%) was limited to the permissive category. Parental separation (40.7%) and deferred treatment (3.7%) were performed only in the permissive category.


This study provides preliminary evidence that a child's reaction to restorative dental procedures is influenced by the nature of the caregiver's parenting style.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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