Studied the relationship between verbal-cognitive and physiological measures of dental anxiety, coping styles, and personality
traits among 53 undergraduate psychology students (aged 18-31 yrs). Data were collected during 2 separate sessions. The 1st
(stress) session involved continuous and simultaneous physiological measurements of systolic and diastolic BP, heart period,
skin-conductance level, and saliva cortisol concentration. Ss then completed self assessment inventories of dental anxiety,
coping behavior, and personality traits, immediately followed by a pre-announced dental check-up. During the second session,
1 mo later, only the physiological measures were made. Coping style was assessed by the Utrecht Coping List. The personality
traits under investigation included neuroticism, extraversion, self-esteem, and general trait anxiety. Self-reported dental
anxiety was associated with the coping behaviors "palliative responding" and "depressive reaction", and with neuroticism.
No relations were found for either extraversion, self-esteem, or trait anxiety. Physiological activity associated with the
oncoming dental check-up could be predicted by emotion-focused coping styles.