Dental anxiety is a widespread phenomenon with deleterious oral health correlates. Consideration of variation in coping styles may be useful in the selection of effective dental anxiety interventions. Miller (1981, 1987) defined two key modalities for coping with threatening information: monitoring (attending to threatening information) and blunting (avoiding threatening information). This study will report on the New Zealand validation of a measure of children's monitoring-blunting copying styles in dental situations (the MBDS) in a sample of 240 New Zealand children aged 11-13 years. Internal consistency reliability and convergent validity with respect to a related scale wre adequate for both the monitoring and blunting subscales, although discriminant validity with regard to dental anxiety was weak for the blunting subscale. Use of a scale such as the MBDS may be one way in which dental staff can bring children's preferred copying styles into consideration when formulating interventions to manage dental anxiety.
New Zealand Psychological Society Annual Conference 2010: Psychology for a sustainable Future A hinengaro ma tokana a mua, Rotorua, New Zealand