Pilot study comparing parents' and third‐grade schoolchildren's attitudes toward braces and perceived need for braces

Academic Article


  • Abstract An instrument developed for third‐grade schoolchildren and their parents was pilot‐tested for its ability to measure orthodontic attitudes and perception of the child's need for braces. Seventy‐eight children and 54 parents were surveyed. Forty‐six percent of the children wanted braces while 61% believed that they needed braces. Correlation between desire for braces and perceived need was 0.47, suggesting that desire and perceived need were only moderately correlated in children. Sixty‐three percent of the parents believed that their child needed braces. Despite such proportions of children and parents perceiving a need for treatment, three‐fourths of the children and two‐thirds of the parents were satisfied with the appearance of the child's teeth. Attitude subscales, derived from the attitude survey, and clinical orthodontic parameters were used to model children's and parents' perceived need for braces in the child. No clinical parameter was a significant correlate in either children's or parents' model of perceived need. Neither race nor gender contributed significantly to either model. The subscales Concern for Appearance and Social Aspects of Braces were the strongest covariates of children's perceived need for braces. Concern for Appearance was the most important correlate in the parents' model. These data suggest that parents' perceived need for orthodontic treatment for their third‐grade children is determined primarily by a concern for appearance rather than clinical status. In third‐graders, perceived aesthetics and social aspects apparently have more influence than clinical status in creating a perception of need for braces. Copyright © 1995, Wiley Blackwell. All rights reserved
  • Authors

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Sheats RD; Gilbert GH; Wheeler TT; King GJ
  • Start Page

  • 36
  • End Page

  • 43
  • Volume

  • 23
  • Issue

  • 1