Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Training for Childcare Professionals: An Independent Multi-Site Randomized Controlled Trial of Stewards of Children
Given the significant rates and deleterious consequences of childhood sexual abuse (CSA), identifying effective primary prevention approaches is a clear priority. There is a growing awareness that childcare professionals (e.g., teachers, childcare personnel, clergy) are in a unique position to engage in prevention efforts due to high accessibility to children and expertise in child development. However, CSA prevention programs targeting childcare professionals have received insufficient attention. The goal of this study was to conduct an independent multi-site controlled evaluation of an existing CSA prevention program, Stewards of Children, offered through both in-person and web-based formats. This study included 352 childcare professionals recruited from children’s advocacy centers across three states. Participants were randomly assigned to one of three conditions: (1) in-person training, (2) web-based training, or (3) waitlist control. Dependent variables included CSA knowledge, CSA attitudes, and self-reported CSA preventive behaviors. Results indicated that Stewards impacted knowledge, attitudes, and preventive behaviors. No differences were found between training modalities (i.e., in-person versus web-based) on knowledge and preventive behaviors. Results indicate that brief trainings for childcare professionals may impact CSA prevention efforts.
KeywordsChild sexual abuse Prevention Childcare professionals
This research was supported by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (R49/CE000890-01; PI Rheingold). The views contained in this report do not necessarily represent those of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention or its associated agencies. The authors would like to thank Angela Brunner, Anne Lee, Kathy Townsend, Suryani Capps, Jeannie Owens, Elaine Knobbs, Kate Liedel, Tiffany Sawyer, and Nedra Manners for their contributions to this project.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2005). Adverse childhood experiences study: Data and statistics. Atlanta, GA: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. Retrieved December 14, 2012 from: http://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/ace/prevalence.htm.
- Finkelhor, D. (1984). Child sexual abuse: New theory and research. New York: Free Press.Google Scholar
- Finkelhor, D., Ormrod, R., & Chaffin, M. (2009). Juveniles who commit sex offenses against minors. Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. http://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/ojjdp/227763.pdf.
- George, T. (2002). E-Government gets going with E-training portal. Information Week. Retrieved January 14, 2005, from http://www.informationweek.com.
- Gruninger, U. J. (1995). Patient education: An example of one-to-one communication. Journal of Human Hypertension, 9, 15–25.Google Scholar
- Hazzard, A., Kleemeier, C., Pohl, J., & Webb, C. (1988). Child sexual abuse prevention: Teacher training workshop curriculum. Atlanta: Emory University School of Medicine.Google Scholar
- Randolph, M. K., & Gold, C. A. (1994). Child sexual abuse prevention: Evaluation of a teacher training program. School Psychology Review, 23, 485–495.Google Scholar
- Raudenbush, S. W., & Bryk, A. S. (2002). Hierarchical linear models: Applications and data analysis methods (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications, Inc.Google Scholar
- Raudenbush, S. W., Bryk, A. S., Cheong, Y. F., Congdon, R., & du Toit, M. (2009). HLM 6: Hierarchical linear and nonlinear modeling [computer software and manual]. Lincolnwood: Scientific Software International.Google Scholar
- Satcher, D. (2001). The surgeon general’s call to action to promote sexual health and responsible behavior. Washington, DC: Government Publications. Available: http://phs.os.dhbs.gov/library/sexualhealth/call.ht.
- U. S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2010). Child Maltreatment 2009. Retrieved from http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/stats_research/index.htm#can on March 10, 2011.