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Cadernos de Saúde Pública

On-line version ISSN 1678-4464Print version ISSN 0102-311X


BRANDAO, Ioneide Maria Gomes; ARCIERI, Renato Moreira; SUNDEFELD, Maria Lúcia Mazza  and  MOIMAZ, Suzely Adas Saliba. Early childhood caries: the influence of socio-behavioral variables and health locus of control in a group of children from Araraquara, São Paulo, Brazil. Cad. Saúde Pública [online]. 2006, vol.22, n.6, pp.1247-1256. ISSN 1678-4464.

The aim of this study was to evaluate the relationship between early childhood caries and socio-behavioral variables and the health locus of control in a group of children 24 to 35 months of age in Araraquara, São Paulo, Brazil. All children of both sexes enrolled in 7 municipal daycare centers were evaluated (n = 110). Exams were performed by an examiner previously trained to apply WHO criteria for determination of dental status. A questionnaire was completed by the mothers, with information on socioeconomic background, behaviors, and attitudes related to the child's oral health and the multidimensional health locus of control. Prevalence of early childhood caries (cavitated or non-cavitated lesions) was 28.2%; there was a significant association between paternal educational level and severe early childhood dental caries (p = 0.01); there were no statistically significant differences between the means for each health locus of control sub-scale and early childhood caries. The results suggest that fathers should be viewed not merely as providers but as an important influence on the child's development as a whole.

Keywords : Dental Caries; Oral Health; Child Welfare.

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