Validity of Measures Assessing Oral Health Beliefs of American Indian Parents

Anne R. Wilson, Angela G. Brega, Jacob F. Thomas, William G. Henderson, Kimberly E. Lind, Patricia A. Braun, Terrence S. Batliner, Judith Albino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Objectives: This aimed to validate measures of constructs included in an extended Health Belief Model (EHBM) addressing oral health beliefs among American Indian (AI) parents. Methods: Questionnaire data were collected as part of a randomized controlled trial (n = 1016) aimed at reducing childhood caries. Participants were AI parents with a preschool-age child enrolled in the Navajo Nation Head Start program. Questionnaire items addressed five EHBM constructs: perceived susceptibility, severity, barriers, benefits, and parental self-efficacy. Subscales representing each construct underwent reliability and validity testing. Internal consistency reliability of each subscale was evaluated using Cronbach’s alpha. Convergent validity was assessed using linear regression to evaluate the association of each EHBM subscale with oral health-related measures. Results: Internal consistency reliability was high for self-efficacy (α = 0.83) and perceived benefits (α = 0.83) compared to remaining EHBM subscales (α < 0.50). Parents with more education (p < 0.0001) and income (p = 0.0002) perceived dental caries as more severe younger parents (ps = 0.02) and those with more education (ps < 0.0001) perceived greater benefits and fewer barriers to following recommended oral health behavior. Female parents (p < 0.0001) and those with more education (p = 0.02) had higher levels of self-efficacy. Parental knowledge was associated with all EHBM measures (ps < 0.0001) excluding perceived susceptibility (p > 0.05). Parents with increased self-efficacy had greater behavioral adherence (p < 0.0001), whereas lower behavioral adherence was associated with parents who reported higher perceived barriers (p < 0.0001). Better pediatric oral health outcomes were associated with higher levels of self-efficacy (p < 0.0001) and lower levels of perceived severity (p = 0.02) and barriers (p = 0.05). Conclusions: Results support the value of questionnaire items addressing the EHBM subscales, which functioned in a manner consistent with the EHBM theoretical framework in AI participants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1254-1263
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 15 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • American Indians
  • Baseline survey
  • Child
  • Dental caries
  • Psychosocial factors
  • Self-efficacy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Anthropology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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