Dentists' voice control: effects on children's disruptive and affective behavior.

Academic Article


  • Voice control, a punishment technique based on loud commands, has been used widely in pediatric dentistry. This study examined whether (a) loudness is a necessary component of the technique, (b) voice control actually reduces children's disruptive behavior, and (c) after treatment, children's negative affect increases. Subjects were forty 3 1/2- to 7-year-olds who posed potential behavior problems and who were scheduled for cavity restoration. Children were assigned randomly to either loud- or normal-voice groups. Children who were assigned to either group but who were not disruptive formed a nonexperimental control group. Prior to and after treatment, children reported their feelings using the Self-Assessment Mannequin. Disruptive behavior was scored using the Behavior Profile Rating Scale. Results indicated that, following loud, but not normal voice commands, children reduced their disruptive behavior (p less than .004) and self-reported lower arousal (p less than .09) and greater pleasure (p less than .10). Theoretical and practical implications of these findings are discussed.
  • Authors

    Published In

  • Health Psychology  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 21756632
  • Author List

  • Greenbaum PE; Turner C; Cook EW; Melamed BG
  • Start Page

  • 546
  • End Page

  • 558
  • Volume

  • 9
  • Issue

  • 5