Effects of film modeling on the reduction of anxiety-related behaviors in individuals varying in level of previous experience in the stress situation

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Evaluated the influence of film preparation on 80 4-11 yr old children undergoing 3 dental sessions (prophylaxis, examination, and restorative treatment) with respect to (a) peer modeling vs demonstration of procedures and (b) amount of information. It was found that, by evaluating self-report (Children's Fear Survey Schedule), and behavioral (Behavior Profile Rating Scale), and visceral-arousal indices in a factorial design, Ss exposed to a peer-model videotape presentation immediately preceding their own restorative treatment exhibited fewer disruptive behaviors and reported less apprehension than those watching a videotaped demonstration without a peer model. The modeling film elicited less heart rate activity in the Ss than the demonstration. 4-6 yr old Ss had lower self-reports of fear after viewing a more complete synopsis of what to expect, whereas the 8-21 yr old Ss had the lowest report of fears after viewing the peer model receiving a local anesthetic and brief intraoral examination. Ss with previous treatment experience benefitted most from viewing the peer model undergoing the entire restorative procedure or a demonstration of the administration of local anesthetic in the absence of a peer model. Ss with no prior experience were sensitized by being shown the demonstration. It is concluded that the age and previous experience of the viewer are important factors in determining childrens' fear-related behaviors after exposure to preparatory stimuli. (17 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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