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The influence of family functioning in adolescent dental caries

Azevedo, Alyssa (2019) The influence of family functioning in adolescent dental caries. Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Objective: Dental caries affect most of the world’s population and although great strides have been made to reduce caries prevalence, it still remains a persistent health issue. Many components of this complex disease are well elucidated; however, family functioning is one area that has not yet been explored. Family functioning refers to how a family organizes itself to accomplish tasks and involves the relationships within the family. Understanding the influence of family functioning on dental caries has public health significance as caries impact the majority of individuals in industrialized nations. Using data from the first cohort from the Center for Oral Health Research in Appalachia, we examined the predictive relationship of selected family functioning dimensions on the number of dental caries in adolescents.
Methods: To assess the selected family functioning dimensions, the Family Assessment Measure was used and consists of three sections: (1) General, (2) Self, and (3) Dyadic. A total DMFT (decayed, missing, and filled teeth) index served as the dependent variable, which included primary plus permanent dentition. Linear regression analyses were performed between each family functioning dimension and the dependent variable for each of the three sections. The only dyadic relationship assessed in this thesis was the adolescent-mother dyad and their responses were analyzed separately. The analyses were done with and without adjustment for covariates (age, income, race, sex, and site).
Results: No statistically significant relationships were found in the general assessment. In the self assessment, the dimensions involvement and values and norms were significant predictors of the adolescent’s total DMFT index. The adolescent’s dyadic rating of values and norms was also found to be a significant predictor of their total DMFT index. Both control and values and norms were significant predictors in the mother’s rating of the relationship.
Conclusions: This study yielded support for family functioning dimensions being statistically significant predictors of an adolescent’s total DMFT index. Based off these findings, future studies investigating family functioning and dental caries merit further exploration. Studies such as this contribute to the overall understanding of the disease and may serve to inform future public health interventions.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Azevedo, Alyssaala162@pitt.eduala162
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Thesis AdvisorMarazita,
Committee MemberGrubs,
Committee MemberMcNeil,
Committee MemberNeiswanger,
Date: 16 July 2019
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 21 May 2019
Approval Date: 16 July 2019
Submission Date: 31 May 2019
Access Restriction: 1 year -- Restrict access to University of Pittsburgh for a period of 1 year.
Number of Pages: 80
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Public Health > Genetic Counseling
Degree: MS - Master of Science
Thesis Type: Master's Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: dental caries, cavities, family functioning
Date Deposited: 16 Jul 2019 16:39
Last Modified: 01 Jul 2020 05:15


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