- Family Matters. The role of parental and family-related psychosocial factors in childhood dental caries
C. van Loveren
- Award date
- 6 February 2015
- Number of pages
- Document type
- PhD thesis
- Faculty of Dentistry (ACTA)
Dental caries is common childhood disease with children from lower socioeconomic status experiencing disproportionately higher levels of the disease. Parents and the broader family environment may play an important role in the development of childhood dental caries as mediators / moderators of risk. Therefore, the aim of this thesis was to explore parental and family-related determinants of childhood dental caries, and their potential role in socioeconomic inequalities in children’s dental health. Triangulation of methods was employed to investigate the research question, using both quantitative research methods (self-report questionnaires and video-observations), as well as qualitative research methods (focus group interviews). Findings of this thesis indicated that the ‘family matters’ in the development of childhood dental caries. Parental attributes in relation to dental self-efficacy and locus of control, and several dimensions of parenting practices and parent-child interaction were important indicators of dental health in 5- to 8-year old children in The Netherlands. Furthermore, results showed that children from dysfunctional families on the dimensions responsiveness, communication, organization and social network had significantly higher levels of dental caries than children from normal functioning families. The studies indicated that these parental and family-related factors potentially mediate the relationship between socioeconomic conditions and children’s dental health status. Herewith, this thesis provides a strong rationale for incorporating these parental and family components in health promotion interventions to effectively prevent tooth decay in children.
- Research conducted at: Universiteit van Amsterdam
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