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J Clin Pediatr Dent. 2015 Summer;39(4):322-5. doi: 10.17796/1053-4628-39.4.322.

Self-Esteem and Oral Condition of Institutionalized Abused Children in Japan.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Abused children have been reported to have low self-esteem. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of dental intervention on self-esteem, oral condition, and concern for oral health in abused children admitted to a child protection service facility.

STUDY DESIGN:

We examined the oral condition of 65 children (34 boys, 31 girls; aged 2-15 years), instructed them in tooth-brushing. Self-esteem was examined using Pope's five-scale test for children. Before discharge, the children completed questionnaires on concern about their oral health.

RESULTS:

The findings revealed the reasons for admission were child abuse and neglect (n=45), domestic violence against the mother (n= 20), special needs (n=11), delinquency (n=7), school refusal (n=2), and other reasons (n=3). Thirty-five of the 65 residents (54%) needed treatment for caries. Of these, 24 (69%) were abused children and 11 (31%) were admitted due to other reasons. Mean self-esteem score differed significantly between the resident children (n=43) and an outpatient control group (n=102) (59.16±14.54 vs 73.92±16.81, respectively; p<0.01).

CONCLUSION:

Although the abused children had low self-esteem, after dental intervention, positive answers regarding oral health were obtained. The findings suggest that dental interventions might be effective for helping to improve the self-esteem of abused children.

KEYWORDS:

child abuse; dental intervention; oral health; self-esteem

PMID:
26161602
DOI:
10.17796/1053-4628-39.4.322
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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