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Child Abuse Negl. 2001 Apr;25(4):505-22.

Proximate effects of a child sexual abuse prevention program in elementary school children.

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Département de sexologie, Université du Québec à Montréal, Canada.



The effects of the sexual child abuse prevention program ESPACE were evaluated by means of a Solomon-type design with first and third grade children. ESPACE is an adaptation of the American Child Assault Prevention Program (CAP). Possible side effects of the program were also examined.


A total of 133 children (64 first-graders and 69 third-graders) participated in the study. Children completed a knowledge questionnaire and a video vignette measure designed to evaluate preventive skills towards abusive and potentially abusive situations. A follow-up measure (2 months) was administered to verify whether knowledge and skills were maintained.


Results indicated that children participating in the prevention program showed greater preventive knowledge and skills relative to children not participating. Follow-up data showed that knowledge gains were maintained while the preventive skill gains may attenuate. However, while global skill scores decreased between post-test and follow-up, children still showed greater preventive skills at follow-up than before the program. In terms of unanticipated side effects, results revealed that almost half of the parents noted positive reactions following children's participation in the ESPACE program. Furthermore, the majority of parents did not identify negative reactions in their children following their participation in the workshop.


The findings suggest that the Quebec adaptation of the CAP program was effective in training children in abuse prevention concepts and skills.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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