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Parental decisions about children's oral health behaviour - relative or absolute?

Trubey, Rob J., Moore, Simon C. ORCID: and Chestnutt, Ivor Gordon ORCID: 2017. Parental decisions about children's oral health behaviour - relative or absolute? Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology 45 (1) , pp. 35-42. 10.1111/cdoe.12256

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Objectives To test the extent to which parents' judgements about their children's oral health behaviour conform to the principles of a specific theory of cognitive decision making – Range-frequency Theory. Methods Experimental study with an opportunity sample of 121 parents of young children (3–6 years old) living in areas of relative deprivation in South Wales. Parents were allocated to four different experimental groups, and each completed a pen-and-paper exercise, which involved being presented with (and rating) how often other parents brushed their children's teeth. The brushing frequencies presented varied between the groups, directly test the rank and range principle of Range-frequency Theory. Results Parents' ratings of other toothbrushing frequencies were predicted by the range and rank principle of Range-frequency Theory. A comparison between Group 1 and Group 2 showed that parents' ratings of similar brushing frequencies were affected by their relative rank among other brushing frequencies presented. A comparison between Group 3 and Group 4 showed that parents in a group who were presented with a very high brushing frequency (21 times a week) rated all other brushing frequencies as relatively less healthy than the comparison group. Conclusions The principles of Range-frequency Theory predicted parents' judgement about children's oral health behaviour – specifically toothbrushing frequency. These findings provide a theoretical framework on which to develop future oral health education and interventions aimed at promoting twice-daily toothbrushing to parents of young children.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Dentistry
Subjects: R Medicine > RK Dentistry
Uncontrolled Keywords: children; dental caries; family; health behaviour; oral health; oral hygiene; parents; social norms; toothbrushing
Publisher: Wiley
ISSN: 0301-5661
Funders: Welsh Government
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 2 September 2016
Date of Acceptance: 9 August 2016
Last Modified: 06 Jan 2024 19:50

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