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Child Abuse Negl. 1987;11(4):483-95.

School-based sexual abuse prevention programs: a review.

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Department of Psychology, Washington State University, Pullman 99164-4830.


In response to the alarmingly high incidence and negative consequences of child sexual abuse, an increasing number of school-based prevention programs have appeared in communities across the United States. In this paper, programs which have been implemented in grades K-6 are summarized according to mode and content of presentation, audience and trainer characteristics, and program length. While many creative and entertaining prevention programs are available for children, empirical validation of these programs has lagged behind their actual development and implementation. Several research questions need to be addressed before we can confidently assert that such programs are effective in preventing the sexual exploitation of children. Evaluation efforts must be expanded in order to improve existing materials, obtain funding, and ensure public and professional support for school-based sexual abuse prevention programs.

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