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The prevention of sexual abuse examination of the effectiveness of a program with kindergarten age children

, : The prevention of sexual abuse examination of the effectiveness of a program with kindergarten age children. Behavior Therapy 19(3): 429-436

The purpose of the present study was to evaluate a program designed to teach skills to young children in order to prevent child sexual abuse. Seventy-one kindergarten children in order to prevent child sexual abuse. Seventy-one kindergarten children from a rural, low, and lower-middle class environment served as subjects and were assigned to either the prevention program or a placebo control group. Subjects in both groups were seen for three 1/2-hour sessions in groups of approximately 20 children. The children receiving the sexual abuse prevention program were taught basic knowledge about sexual abuse and how to avoid and report such abuse. Instructions, modeling, rehearsal, and social reinforcement were utilized as teaching procedures. Children in the placebo control group were read stories and saw a film, none of which were related to sexual abuse. Relative to the control group, at both a three-week post-test and a seven-week follow-up, children participating in the prevention program demonstrated more knowledge about preventing abuse and performed better on simulated scenes involving sexual abuse. These results indicate that children as young as kindergarten-age can be taught skills to prevent sexual abuse.

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