The relationship of children predicted behaviour to their observed behaviour during dental precedures

  • OO Bankole
  • OO Denloye
  • GA Aderinokun
  • SO Jeboda


The objective of this study was to assess the relationship of some Nigerian children’s predicted behaviour to their observed behaviour during dental treatment. Two hundred and sixty children aged 2-15years, participated in this study. They were treated at the three government dental establishments in Ibadan, a city in southwestern Nigeria over a six-month period. The children’s behaviour during the
different phases of treatment were determined by the Frankl’s Behaviour Rating Scale (Frankl et al, 1962). The findings revealed a direct relationship between the predicted behaviour and the actual manifested behaviour during dental appointments. During clinical examination 42.7% of presumed difficult children manifested positive behaviour in comparison to 95.1% whose mothers believed would be cooperative (p<0.05). In the process of administering local anaesthesia,
21.9% of children who had been predicted to be uncooperative by their mothers complied, while 63.5% of those expected to be of good behaviour showed a positive response (p<0.05). This study thus shows the importance of a mother being asked to make a prediction of the possible behaviour of her child before the dental treatment. This information will enable the dental practitioner take precautionary measures against untoward behaviour, which may be manifested.
Appropriate behaviour management skills such as behaviour shapping, Tell-Show-Do, modeling and reinforcement instituted in children likely to behave poorly will enable each child come out with a positive impression at every attendance.

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eISSN: 1119-5096
print ISSN: 1119-5096