Blame the Father?

Parents play an important role in transmitting fear of the dentist.  A recent study at the Rey Juan Carlos University of Madrid looked in particular at the role of fathers in transmitting dental fear.  Fathers act as a “mediating variable” which gives them a key role in transmitting dental fear.  According to the study, “children seem to mainly pay attention to the emotional reactions of the fathers when deciding if situations at the dentist are potentially stressful.”  In general, the higher the level of anxiety or fear in one family member, the higher the level in the rest of the family.

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