The impact of maternal emotional intelligence and parenting style on child anxiety and behavior in the dental setting.Med Oral Patol Oral Cir Bucal. 2012 Nov 01; 17(6):e1089-95.MO
The present study investigated the correlations between maternal emotional intelligence (EQ), parenting style, child trait anxiety and child behavior in the dental setting.
One-hundred seventeen children, aged 4-6 years old (mean 5.24 years), and their mothers participated in the study. The BarOn Emotional Quotient Inventory and Bumrind's parenting style questionnaire were used to quantify maternal emotional intelligence and parenting style. Children's anxiety and behavior was evaluated using the Spence Children's Anxiety Scale (SCAS) and Frankl behavior scale.
Significant correlation was found between maternal EQ and child behavior (r=0.330; p<0.01); but not between parenting style and child behavior. There was no significant correlation between mother's total EQ and child's total anxiety; however, some subscales of EQ and anxiety showed significant correlations. There were significant correlations between authoritarian parenting style and separation anxiety (r=0.186; p<0.05) as well as authoritative parenting style and mother's EQ (r=0.286; p<0.01). There was no significant correlation between child anxiety and behavior (r = -0.81). Regression analysis revealed maternal EQ is effective in predicting child behavior (β=0.340; p<0.01).
This study provides preliminary evidence that the child's behavior in the dental setting is correlated to mother's emotional intelligence. Emotionally intelligent mothers were found to have predominantly authoritative parenting style.