J Korean Acad Oral Health.  2013 Dec;37(4):241-247.

Clusters of oral health-related behaviors by gender and their relationship with psychosocial factors for adolescents in Gangneung

  • 1Department of Preventive and Public Health Dentistry, Research Institute of Oral Science, Gangneung-Wonju National University College of Dentistry, Gangneung, Korea. feeljsh@gwnu.ac.kr


OBJECTIVES: To verify the clusters of oral health-related behaviors by gender for adolescents in Gangneung, and to assess the influences of psychosocial factors (family socioeconomic status factors, individual economic factors, and psychological factors) on these clusters.
A survey was conducted of 3,611 adolescents (6th grade students in primary school, 2nd grade students in middle school, and 2nd grade students in high school) in Gangneung. The response rate was 96.6% (1,846 boys; 1,765 girls). The data were collected via self-administered structured questionnaires assessing participants 'smoking experience,' 'tooth brushing,' 'consumption of crackers or soft drinks,' and 'consumption of fruits or vegetables.' K-means cluster analysis was used to cluster the oral health-related behaviors by gender. A chi-square test was used to assess the difference between the clusters for oral health-related behaviors by gender and psychosocial factors.
Clusters of oral health related-behaviors were classified into the unhealthy group (group 1; bad oral health-related behaviors), healthy group (group 2; good behaviors), and complex group (group 3; low smoking experiences and complex other behaviors). The clusters were different by gender. In the unhealthy group, boys represented 19.9% while, in the healthy group, girls represented 47.3%, which are both higher than the theoretical rates. Psychosocial factors in the unhealthy group were significantly lower than the healthy group (P<0.05).
Meaningful clusters of oral health-related behaviors by gender were identified. Furthermore, the clusters were different by psychosocial factors. This finding suggests that one of the best ways to enhance oral health for adolescents is to develop oral health promotion programs for each oral health-related behavior cluster.


Adolescents; Cluster; Gender; Oral health-related behavior
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