The development of a system for the classification of children's written responses while imagining situations related to a dental visit

Hunt-Fitzgerald, Gertie (1986) The development of a system for the classification of children's written responses while imagining situations related to a dental visit. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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    Available under License - The author retains copyright ownership and moral rights in this thesis. Neither the thesis nor substantial extracts from it may be printed or otherwise reproduced without the author's permission.
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Abstract

Little attention has been directed at analyzing verbal responses to look at cognitive aspects of anxiety, particularly in the lower age levels. In view of this, a system was developed for the classification of children's written responses obtained in a 1983 pilot study designed to study various aspects of dental anxiety. The responses were elicited by asking children to imagine four situations related to a dental visit. -- Studies in the psychology of language and the approach taken by a number of psycholinguistic studies suggested the methodology for developing such a system. The unit of analysis, the independent clause, was defined according to the rules of English grammar. Each unit was classified according to two types of categorization. Categories under mode of responding correspond with the three response systems or components of fear described by the Three-Systems-Model of fear. Categories under valence of responding, indicate whether the units were positive or negative. -- Reliability was demonstrated by having two independent raters use the system to classify the written responses of a random sample of subjects from the larger sample. Percentage of agreement was the index of reliability used. The agreement on units and categories was, with one exception, not less than eighty percent. Analysis relating the classified verbal responses to dental anxiety scores also demonstrated the system's capability of distinguishing among low and high dentally anxious children, thus providing a measure of criterion validity.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/4374
Item ID: 4374
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 53-59.
Department(s): Education, Faculty of
Date: 1986
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Anxiety in children; Dental care--Utilization; Children--Language

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