The current investigation examined parental efforts to educate their children about sexual abuse. Approximately 750 surveys were distributed to parents of kindergarten through third grade youngsters (mean age 8.5) in three New Jersey elementary schools. Participants were 289 guardians (39% response rate) who voluntarily completed a survey assessing demographic characteristics, caregivers' direct or indirect experience with child sexual abuse, and their efforts to educate their children about the issue. As found previously, parents continue to disproportionately focus on strangers as potential offenders and provide limited information particularly in terms of the nature of sexual abuse and the secrecy associated with it. Parents with no direct or indirect experience with child sexual abuse were least likely to talk with their children about the issue in general and when they did so provided less information. These findings were surprisingly similar to earlier investigations despite methodological and sampling differences across investigations. Implications and limitations of the current survey findings discussed.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Developmental and Educational Psychology