Evaluation of two predictors of child disruptive behavior during restorative dental treatment

Keith D. Allen, Susie Hutfless, Robert Larzelere

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of 2 behavior rating scales (1 describing child behavior and the other describing parent behavior) in predicting child behavior during dental treatment. Methods: Participants consisted of 52 children, ages 3 to 12 years, and their parents. Parents completed the Eyberg Child Behavior Inventory and the Parent-Child Relationship Inventory while children received restorative dental treatment. Disruptive behavior was observed and coded. Dentists also provided subjective Frankl ratings of child behavior. Results: Correlational analyses confirmed that age was the single best and only independent predictor of disruptive behavior in children during a restorative dental visit. However, a backward multiple regression demonstrated that the Support Scale and Limit Setting Scale of the Parent-Child Relationship Inventory were significant predictors of child disruptive behavior, but only when both scales were in the regression analysis. The Frankl ratings also significantly predicted observed disruptive behavior, supporting the construct validity of both the objective and subjective measures of problem behavior. Conclusions: Child age and parent reports of the parent-child relationship predicted child disruptiveness in the dental clinic, while parent reports of child behavior alone did not.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)221-225
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Dentistry for Children
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2003


  • Behavior
  • Frankl Scale
  • Prediction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Dentistry


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