Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Eberly College of Arts and Sciences



Committee Chair

Daniel W McNeil

Committee Co-Chair

Natalie J Shook

Committee Member

Robert N Stuchell


Oral health values, the degree to which one demonstrates investment in improving or maintaining one's dental status, are believed to vary across individuals. Oral health values may contribute to dental treatment utilization. By assessing differences in oral health values, researchers may be better able to explain differences in dental care treatment-seeking patterns. There is limited research, however, on measuring and evaluating oral health values. This study developed and validated a new Oral Health Values Scale (OHVS) that may be used in future research efforts to understand psychosocial barriers to treatment. The study provided evidence of content validity by having experts review item content related to relevance, representativeness, specificity, and clarity to the construct oral health values. Data from a developmental sample was used to further refine item content. The scale exhibited a four factor structure with high internal consistency. The psychometric properties of the final scale were confirmed in a second sample, although evidence for the OHVS's four factor structure was mixed. Overall, the OHVS was consistently related to other oral health constructs in anticipated ways, providing evidence for convergent validity.