Journal of Behavioral Health and Psychology. 2012; 1(3):(29-318)


Locus of control and its association with oral health among 12 and 15 year olds in Bhopal city, Central India

Abhinav Singh, Bharathi Purohit

Abstract

Objectives: The aim of the study was to describe the health locus of control and to determine its association with oral health for 12 and 15 year old children from Bhopal City, Central India. Methods: A total of 462 children were examined; 259 children from the 12- year age group and 203 from 15 year age group. The eleven-item health locus of control questionnaire (HLC) was used to assess health locus of control and to determine its association with oral health. Eleven questions had a scoring range from 6 to 66. Individuals were classified as internal or external based on the median score; internals scoring above 33 and externals scoring below or equal to 33. Oral hygiene index simplified and WHO’s dentition status were used to estimate oral hygiene and dental caries status. Results: Results highlighted that students with higher external scores are more prone towards poor oral hygiene and increased caries levels. Internal's appear more likely to engage in positive health and had better oral hygiene and lower dental caries levels. Significant negative correlation was noted between internal health locus of control and DMFT scores. (r = -0.42; p < 0.001). A positive significant correlation was also noted between external health locus of control and DMFT scores. (r = 0.38; p <0.001) Conclusion: Internal's appear more likely to engage in positive health and had better oral hygiene and lower dental caries levels. These beliefs may be useful for planning oral health promotion programs and for formulating advice given by oral health professionals about their patients' oral health behaviors.

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