Social desirability, social intelligence and self-rated oral health status and behaviours.Rom J Intern Med. 2007; 45(4):393-400.RJ
Our aim was to examine the impact of social intelligence and social desirability on students' self-rated oral health and oral health-related behaviors.
METHOD AND MATERIALS
The present study sample consisted of 217 first year dental students. The questionnaire included information about socio-demographic factors, behavioral factors, self-reported oral health status, social intelligence (Tromsø Social Intelligence Scale-TSIS) and social desirability (Marlowe-Crowne Social Desirability Scale short form C).
Social desirability was correlated with age, perceived dental health, current nontreated caries, toothache last time, self-reported gum bleeding and reason for the dental visit. Other measures were not influenced by social desirability: current extracted teeth, satisfaction with appearance of own teeth, self-reported gingival condition, daily toothbrushing, flossing, mouthrinse and dental visit frequency. It was revealed that participants with stronger social intelligence tended to evaluate as excellent their self rated oral health status, to be less dissatisfied by the appearance of their teeth, not to have untreated dental decays, extracted teeth (others than third molars) or gingival bleeding, to brush their teeth more than twice a day, to use everyday dental floss and to visit their dentist mainly for check-up or for tooth cleaning and scaling. Multiple regression analyses models demonstrated significant contributions of social awareness, social skills and social information processing were observed to oral health behaviours: toothbrushing, flossing and dental visit frequency.
The results support the view that social desirability should be considered as a factor which may impact measurements and decisions, while social intelligence has a significant association with oral health behaviours.