This was to investigate the ability of Nigerian parents to predict their child's dental anxiety level and the relationship
between the child's dental anxiety, general anxiety and behaviour in the dental chair.
A group of 53 mothers and 35 fathers
and their respective children completed schedules that measured general and dental anxiety. The child's behaviour on the dental chair
was also assessed. The child's self report of dental anxiety and general anxiety was compared with that of the parents. Dental anxiety
ratings by the children and parents were correlated with the behaviour assessment of the dentist. Statistical significance was determined
There was no statistically significant difference between the parent's assessment of their child's dental anxiety
level and the child's self report (t=0.389; p=0.689). However, the mothers were able to rate their child's dental anxiety level better than
the fathers (r=0.497 and p<0.001 for mothers, r=-0.049 and p=0.789 for fathers). Also there was a moderate correlation between the child's self reported dental anxiety and general anxiety levels (r=0.58, p<0.05) and a low correlation between the clinical behaviour ratings and the child's self reported dental anxiety level (r=0.10, p>0.05).
The Nigerian mothers could be relied upon
to make objective assessment of their child's dental anxiety. General anxiety appears to play a significant role in dental anxiety
development in Nigerian children who appear to behave well in the dental chair despite their reported dental anxiety levels.
Vol.5 – n.1/2004
Harvard: M. O. Folayan, E. E. Idehen, O. O. Ojo (2004) "Dental anxiety in a subpopulation of African children: parents ability to predict and its relation to general anxiety and behaviour in the dental chair", European Journal of Paediatric Dentistry, 5(1), pp19-23. doi:
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