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Sexual Abuse Prevention Concept Knowledge: Low Income Children Are Learning but Still Lagging.


ABSTRACT: School-based child sexual abuse (CSA) prevention programs have proliferated since beginning over 30 years ago. Research on program effectiveness has emphasized summative outcomes while under-reporting implementation and process fidelity, limiting reliable comparisons across programs and populations. External validity is further limited by racially and economically homogenous samples, or a failure to report such demographics. This article presents data from a CSA prevention program delivered to 2nd and 3rd grade public school children. A formative concept and item level analysis on the Children's Knowledge of Abuse Questionnaire at baseline and four week follow-up, as well as fidelity and implementation data, are reported. Results show that children learn and retain certain concepts, but vary widely in knowledge across items. This sample of low-income, minority children also show lower baseline and "learned" abuse prevention knowledge compared to published norms, which is not attributed to implementation variability. These data give critical insight into workshop effectiveness that is masked in summative reporting, yet essential to adapting and strengthening school-based CSA programs. Knowing the long-term consequences of adverse childhood experiences and disparate health outcomes linked to race and socioeconomic status, it is imperative to adequately assess CSA prevention program impact across diverse populations.

PROVIDER: S-EPMC6328251 | BioStudies |

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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