International Journal of Clinical Pediatric Dentistry

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VOLUME 15 , ISSUE S2 ( Special Issue-2 (Cariology), 2022 ) > List of Articles


Association between Parental Stress and Early Childhood Caries Experience among Preschool Children in Maduravoyal, Chennai: A Cross-sectional Study

Shilpa Mahapatra, Preetha E Chaly, Mohammed Junaid, Smruti C Mohapatra, M Madhumitha

Keywords : Child, Correlation of data, Dental caries, Mothers, Preschool

Citation Information :

DOI: 10.5005/jp-journals-10005-2138

License: CC BY-NC 4.0

Published Online: 16-03-2022

Copyright Statement:  Copyright © 2022; The Author(s).


Background: In recent decades stress has emerged as a variable of significant interest in the examination of oral health. Objective: To study the association between parental stress and early childhood caries experience among 3–5 years old children. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted among 342 randomly selected mother-child dyads in Maduravoyal, Chennai. The mothers were stratified into four stress categories based on their parental stress scores from the Parental Stress Scale (Berry and Jones, 1995). The children were classified into three subgroups, no caries [dmft = 0], low caries [dmft = 1-2], and high caries [dmft≥3]. Chi-square test with Yates’ continuity correction and Spearman's rank correlation were used as statistical test methods. Results: Among the mothers with no stress, 44.9% had children in the no caries group, compared to 21.6% in the low caries and 7.3% in the high caries group [p < 0 .001]. And among the mothers with mild to moderate stress, 6.3% had children in the no caries group, compared to 5.4% in the low caries and 30% in the high caries group [p < 0 .001]. A positive correlation between parental stress and early childhood caries experience was observed [rho = 0 .461, p < 0 .001]. Conclusion: A significant moderate positive correlation between parental stress and early childhood caries experience was observed. Stressful parents can be a probable risk factor for early childhood caries. Hence, providing prenatal counseling will be of added value to all expecting mothers.

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