Journal of Behavioral Medicine

, Volume 12, Issue 3, pp 309–320 | Cite as

A longitudinal study of the contribution of dental experience to dental anxiety in children between 9 and 12 years of age

  • Patricia Murray
  • Andrée Liddell
  • John Donohue


Dental records of a group of children of both sexes were examined systematically over a period of 3 years to determine if the quantity and quality of their dental experience would be associated with increases in dental anxiety. The study was a follow-up of an earlier cross-sectional survey in which older children had demonstrated increases in dental anxiety with age. According to the evidence obtained from their dental records, the children were divided into four groups depending on their patterns of attendance (regular/irregular) and whether or not they had received invasive treatment. The results indicated that children who did not receive invasive treatment during the period under scrutiny were significantly more anxious than those who had. On the other hand, the dental anxiety of children who attended regularly and received invasive treatment did not change significantly. This applied to boys and girls alike.

Key words

dental anxiety children sex differences attendance invasive treatment 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Patricia Murray
  • Andrée Liddell
  • John Donohue

There are no affiliations available

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