A survey was conducted to measure the attitudes and beliefs of parents of preschoolers about child sexual abuse prevention programs. Surveys were distributed to parents at various programs serving 3- to 5-year-old children in a Colorado community. The survey gathered information on parents' demographic characteristics, involvement in prevention efforts, attitudes toward teaching specific prevention concepts, beliefs regarding the risks and benefits of prevention programs, and beliefs about who should participate in such programs. It was found that 16.5% of the parents had a neighbor or acquaintance who had been a victim of sexual abuse as a child. A total of 11.7% reported having been abused themselves, while less than 2% reported that their child had been abused. A total of 59.1% indicated that they discussed sexual abuse with their preschooler. Few parents warned their children that perpetrators of sexual abuse might be someone the children knew. Most parents taught children to say "no" to perpetrators, and to get away and tell a parent, and most strongly agreed that these concepts should be taught in prevention programs. A total of 72.5% of the parents believed that all preschools and day care centers should have child sexual abuse prevention programs. Mean responses to survey items are included. (AC)
Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association (99th, San Francisco, CA, August 16-20, 1991).
1 - Available on microfiche
National Inst. of Mental Health (DHHS), Rockville, MD.