Behavioral pathways explaining oral health disparity in children

  • Gao X
  • Hsu C
  • Xu Y
 et al. 
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Policymakers’ understanding of and ability to reduce health disparities are pivotal for health promotion worldwide. This study aimed to verify the behavioral pathways leading to oral health disparities. Oral examinations were conducted for 1782 randomly selected preschoolers (3-6 yrs), and 1576 (88.4%) participants were followed up after 12 months. Parents were surveyed on their knowledge (K), attitude (A), and practices (P) regarding their children’s oral health homecare (infant feeding, diet, and oral hygiene) and dental attendance. Structural equation modeling substantiated the links between specific KAs and corresponding practices, while generic KA did not affect practices. KAP pathways partly explained the ethnic and socio-economic disparities in oral health. Deprivation had a direct effect (not mediated by KA) on dental attendance, but not on oral health homecare. Ethnicity directly influenced oral health homecare practices, but not dental attendance. These behavioral pathways, furthering our unders...

Author-supplied keywords

  • attitude
  • children
  • dental attendance
  • homecare
  • knowledge
  • oral health disparity
  • practice

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