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Role of sense of coherence in the relationship between socioeconomic position and oral health in Finnish dentate adults

Bernabé Ortiz, E.; (2009) Role of sense of coherence in the relationship between socioeconomic position and oral health in Finnish dentate adults. Doctoral thesis, UCL (University College London).

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Abstract

Background: There are gradients in general and oral health by socioeconomic position (SEP). Psychosocial processes play an important role to explain those social gradients. One such process is Antonovsky’s Sense of Coherence (SOC) construct. However, the contribution of SOC in explaining social gradients in oral health has not been fully explored. SOC relates to how individuals make sense of the world, use required resources to respond to it and feel their responses are meaningful and make sense emotionally. Aim and Objectives: This thesis aimed to assess the role of SOC in the relationship between SEP and oral health in Finnish dentate adults. The objectives were to assess the role of SOC as a moderator of the relationship of adulthood SEP with behaviours and oral health; to assess the role of SOC as a mediator of the relationship of childhood SEP with adult behaviours and oral health; and to assess the contribution of SOC to oral health independently of socio-demographic and behavioural factors. Methods: Data were from the nationally representative Finnish Health 2000 Survey of adults aged 30 years and over. Childhood SEP was indicated by parental education and adulthood SEP by education and income. SOC was measured by the Orientation to Life questionnaire. Outcomes were behaviours, clinical oral health measures and self-rated oral health. Regression analysis and structural equation modelling were used. Results: Findings did not support a moderating role of SOC in the relationship of adulthood SEP with behaviours and oral health. SOC was a modest mediator of the relationship of childhood SEP with adult behaviours and oral health, compared to the role of adulthood SEP. Finally, SOC was independently associated with oral health. Conclusion: SOC appears to be an important psychosocial disposition for the development and maintenance of individuals’ oral health. The association between SOC and oral health was not explained away by socio-demographic or behavioural factors.

Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Title:Role of sense of coherence in the relationship between socioeconomic position and oral health in Finnish dentate adults
Language:English
Additional information:Authorisation for digitisation not received
UCL classification:UCL > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health Care > Epidemiology and Public Health

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