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Child Abuse Negl. 1997 Sep;21(9):869-81.

Child sexual abuse prevention programs: evaluating Who Do You Tell.

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Faculty of Social Work, University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada.



The research evaluated a sexual abuse prevention program for elementary school-aged children. Although other evaluations of similar programs have demonstrated significant improvements in knowledge and skills, a number of key questions with respect to their efficacy remain.


231 children were randomly assigned (matched by age) to participate in the program (N = 117) or in a wait-list control condition (N = 114). Knowledge of abuse prevention concepts were tested using the 33-item Children's Knowledge of Abuse Questionnaire-Revised (CKAQ-R), a standardized measure with strong psychometric properties (Tutty, 1995), with a new subscale on Appropriate Touch.


An analysis of covariance showed that children who received the program increased their knowledge levels of both Inappropriate Touch (p = .000) and Appropriate Touch (p = .012) to a significantly greater degree than children in the control group. Age also significantly differentiated the knowledge levels regarding Inappropriate Touch, with younger children knowing fewer concepts both at pretest and posttest (p = .000). Parallel results apply to the Appropriate Touch subscale (p = .04).


The results are consistent with other evaluations of child sexual abuse prevention programs, however the statistically significant though small gains suggest that the programs need to be presented in a more powerful manner.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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