JOURNAL OF DENTAL EDUCATION, cilt.76, ss.774-782, 2012 (SCI İndekslerine Giren Dergi)
The salutogenic model suggests that generalized resistance resources (GRRs) promote the development and maintenance of a strong sense of coherence (SOC), which is a health-promoting factor. This study examined associations between GRRs (sociodemographic characteristics, social support, stress, health practices, and self-rated health) and a strong SOC among dental students at Istanbul University. Data were collected from a convenience sample of 566 students using questionnaires including a sociodemographic section, the SOC scale, the Perceived Stress Scale, the Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support, self-rated health, and health practices. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, t-test, chi-square test, and binary multiple logistic regression. Students were classified into a low or strong SOC group by a median split procedure, based on their total score on the SOC scale (median=56, range=22 to 91). Univariate statistics showed that students with a strong SOC reported lower stress levels, higher social support levels, better self-rated health, brushing their teeth more frequently, lower sugar intake between meals, and less frequent smoking than students with a low SOC. Multivariate statistics indicated that being a nonsmoker and having better self-rated health, higher social support levels, lower stress levels, and lower sugar intake between meals were the most important predictors of strong SOC. Taking into account the factors that reinforce a strong SOC may help dental educators develop health promotion programs and create supportive environments for maintaining dental students' health.