The relationship of mother-child coping styles and maternal presence on children's response to dental stress

Elissa Kay Koplik, Fordham University

Abstract

In this study the effects of the mother's coping style (monitor, blunter), child's coping style (monitor, blunter), and maternal presence on school-age children's response to dental stress were investigated. The sample consisted of 80 mother-child dyads, with children ranging in age from 6-12, from a metropolitan New York City dental clinic and private practice. Coping style for mothers was determined by the Miller Behavioral Style Scale, and for children by the Children's Behavioral Style Scale. Seven dependent measures were used to assess anxiety and cooperation including heart rate (before, during, and after treatment), the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory for Children, the Melamed Behavior Profile Rating Scale, the Fear Thermometer, and the Frankl Scale.^ The results of univariate analyses of variance on the dependent measures indicated a significant interaction between maternal presence in the dental operatory and child's coping style on the Melamed Behavior Profile Rating Scale. In the mother-present condition, child monitors were more disruptive than child blunters whereas in the mother-absent condition child blunters were more disruptive than child monitors on the Melamed Behavior Profile Rating Scale. A main effect of maternal presence was also found. Children in the mother-present condition were found to be less disruptive than children in the mother-absent condition. No significant correlations between maternal trait anxiety and children's trait anxiety and specific dental fear were found.^ One conclusion from this study was that maternal presence appears to be a more influential factor than mother-child coping styles on children's anxiety and cooperation in the dental operatory. In addition, it was found that the different dependent measures of anxiety and cooperation were poorly correlated with one another. Therefore, future research should focus on the development of more highly correlated measures of anxiety and cooperation. The influence of factors such as age of child, number of dental visits, and the personality and training of the dentist should be studied as well in investigating children's response to dental stress. ^

Subject Area

Dentistry|Developmental psychology|Clinical psychology

Recommended Citation

Koplik, Elissa Kay, "The relationship of mother-child coping styles and maternal presence on children's response to dental stress" (1989). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI8917238.
http://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI8917238

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