Their Children’s First Educators: Parents’ Views About Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Education
- 1.8k Downloads
In this descriptive focus group study, we investigated parents’ views about child sexual abuse prevention education at home and in schools. Focus groups were conducted with a sample of 30 Australian adults who identified as the parent or caregiver of a child/children aged 0–5 years. The study explored (1) parents’ knowledge about child sexual abuse prevention, (2) the child sexual abuse prevention messages they provided to their children and the topics they discussed, (3) their attitudes towards child sexual abuse prevention education in schools, and (4) their preferences for content. Data analysis provided seven key themes in these four areas: knowledge (the inadequacy of their own prevention education; and how important is stranger danger now?); messages (bodies, touching, and relationships; the role of protective adults; and parent–child communication); attitudes (voice and choice); and preferences (not the nitty gritty, just the basics). The findings may be useful in assisting school authorities and providers of child sexual abuse prevention programs to better understand parents’ contributions to child sexual abuse prevention education, and their perspectives in relation to provision of school-based prevention programs.
KeywordsChild sexual abuse prevention Parent–child communication Parents Sexuality education Focus groups
- Australian Bureau of Statistics. (2011). 1370.0: Measures of Australia’s progress 2010. Commonwealth of Australia 2011. Retrieved April 5, 2011, from http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/mf/1370.0.
- Australian Government, Office of the Privacy Commissioner. (2006). National privacy principles. Australian Government 200. Retrieved August 20, 2010, from http://www.privacy.gov.au/materials/types/infosheets/view/6583.
- Bartholomew, L. K., Parcel, G. S., Kok, G., & Gottlieb, N. H. (2006). Planning health promotion programs: An intervention mapping approach (2nd ed.). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
- Berliner, L. (2011). Child sexual abuse: Definitions, prevalence, and consequences. In J. E. B. Myers (Ed.), The APSAC handbook on child maltreatment. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
- Berliner, L., & Elliott, D. M. (2002). Sexual abuse of children. In J. E. B. Myers, L. Berliner, J. Briere, C. T. Hendrix, C. Jenny, & T. A. Reid (Eds.), The APSAC handbook on child maltreatment. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
- Berne, L. A., Patton, W., Milton, J., Hunt, L. Y. A., & Wright, S. (2000). A qualitative assessment of Australian parents’ perceptions of sexuality education and communication. Journal of Sex Education and Therapy, 25(2&3), 161–168.Google Scholar
- Cicchetti, D., & Toth, S. (1995). The developmental psychopathology of child maltreatment. In D. Cicchetti & D. Cohen (Eds.), Developmental psychopathology. New York: Plenum Press.Google Scholar
- Finkelhor, D. (1984). Child sexual abuse: New theory and research. London: The Free Press.Google Scholar
- Goldman, R., & Goldman, J. D. G. (1982). Children’s sexual thinking. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul.Google Scholar
- Hunt, R., & Walsh, K. (2011). Parents’ views about child sexual abuse prevention education: A systematic review. Australasian Journal of Early Childhood, 36(2), 63–76.Google Scholar
- Kreuger, R. A., & Casey, M. A. (2000). Focus groups: A practical guide for applied research (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
- Montano, D. E., & Kasprzyk, D. (2008). Theory of reasoned action, theory of planned behavior, and the integrated behavioral model. In K. Glanz, B. K. Rimer, & K. Viswanath (Eds.), Health behavior and health education: Theory, research, and practice. Hoboken, NJ: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
- National Health and Medical Research Council. (2007). Australian code for the responsible conduct of research. Commonwealth of Australia 2007. Retrieved April 28, 2010, from http://www.nhmrc.gov.au/publications/synopses/r39syn.htm.
- Pohl, J. D., & Hazzard, A. (1990). Reactions of children, parents, and teachers to child sexual abuse prevention programs. Education, 110(3), 337–345.Google Scholar
- Queensland Government. (2011). Skilled and business migration. Queensland Government 2011. Retrieved April 17, 2011, from http://www.workliveplay.qld.gov.au/dsdweb/v4/apps/web/content.cfm?id=15055.
- Sanderson, J. (2004). Child-focused sexual abuse prevention programs: How effective are they in preventing child abuse? Crime and Misconduct Commission Research & Issues Paper Series, 5(1), 1–8.Google Scholar
- Taylor, P., Moore, P., Pezzullo, L., Tucci, J., Goddard, C., & De Bortoli, L. (2008). The cost of child abuse in Australia. Melbourne, VIC: Australian Childhood Foundation and Child Abuse Prevention Research Australia.Google Scholar
- Trickett, P. K. (2006). Defining child sexual abuse. In M. M. Feerick, J. F. Knutson, P. K. Trickett, & S. M. Flanzer (Eds.), Child abuse and neglect: Definitions, classifications, and a framework for research. Baltimore, ML: Paul H Brookes Publishing Co.Google Scholar
- Walsh, K., Brandon, L., & Chirio, L. (under review). Mother-child communication about sexual abuse prevention. Journal of Child Sexual Abuse.Google Scholar
- Wurtele, S. K., & Miller-Perrin, C. L. (1992). Preventing child sexual abuse: Sharing the responsibility. Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press.Google Scholar