Why do you want your child to have braces? Investigating the motivations of Hispanic/Latino and Caucasian parents
Davis, Blake Bennett
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Introduction: Many psychological, social and cultural factors influence parents' motivation to seek orthodontic care for their children. The current study used Q methodology to categorize shared motives and determine whether cultural differences exist among Hispanic/Latino (H/L) and Caucasian (C) parents. Methods: The fundamental question posed to the parents was "Why do you want your child to have braces?" Q methodology involves three stages. (1) Interviews of H/L (N=5) and C (N=5) parents generated thirty-five statements that represented different motives to seek orthodontic care. (2) In the Q sort, 70 new parents (N=22 H/L and N=48 C) ranked statements in order of relative importance using a forced distribution grid. (3) Factor analysis was performed separately for the H/L and C groups to uncover cultural differences. Results: Four motivational profiles were described for both the H/L and C parents based upon the significant factors identified in each group. More H/L parents (18 of 22) were characterized by one of their group's four profiles compared to the C parents (22 of 48 parents). Comparison of the motivational profiles across the groups revealed four global themes: well-timed treatment that prevents future dental problems, parental responsibility, perceived benefits, and perceived need instilled by the dentist. Interestingly, specific occlusal problems were not a major motivation for treatment. Conclusions: Four global themes capture the motives of most parents seeking treatment. Understanding these global themes can help the clinician frame their discussions about orthodontic treatment with parents.
- Dentistry