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Psicologia: ciência e profissão

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BRANDENBURG, Olivia Justen  and  HAYDU, Verônica Bender. Behavior analysis contributions to pediatric dentistryContribucionesdel análisisdel comportamiento en odontopediatría. Psicol. cienc. prof. [online]. 2009, vol.29, n.3, pp. 462-475. ISSN 1414-9893.

Control children behavior during dentistry treatment is one of the big dentists’ challenges. Uncooperative children behavior in pediatric dentistry is a topic of debate among researchers, who look for different explanations like fear, anxiety and aversive experiences for this kind of reaction. Behavior analysis’ research in pediatric dentistry contexts provides evidence that the aversive stimulus as a establishing operation changes the value of other contingencies in the dental context, such as positive reinforcement or distraction, and this is a possible reason for the difficulty of managing children disruptive behaviors. A brief literature review is presented in this work, including the concept of establishing operations, avoidance and escape. Moreover, the function of establishing operations in the pediatric dentistry context is analyzed, suggesting that they establish conditions for the maintenance of children disruptive behavior in the dentistry clinics. Possibilities of intervention with contingencies that reduce aversive proprieties of the situation are discussed.

Keywords : Pediatric dentistry; Behavior analysis; Aversive control; Children.

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