School-based education programs for the prevention of child sexual abuse: a Cochrane systematic review and meta-analysis

WALSH Kerryann, et al
Journal article citation:
Research on Social Work Practice, 28(1), 2018, pp.33-55.

Objective: To assess evidence of the effectiveness of school-based education programs for the prevention of child sexual abuse (CSA). The programs deliver information about CSA and strategies to help children avoid it and encourage help seeking. Methods: Systematic review including meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials (RCTs), cluster RCTs, and quasi-RCTs. Results: Twenty-four studies with 5,802 participants were included. Child self-protective skills and applied knowledge increased in the intervention group, and knowledge gains were retained at 6 months. There were no differences in anxiety or fear and findings regarding disclosure of abuse were inconclusive. Conclusion: Children’s self-protective skills and knowledge can be increased by participation in school-based sexual abuse prevention programs. However, it is unknown whether gains in skills and knowledge actually decrease the likelihood of CSA. (Edited publisher abstract)

Subject terms:
systematic reviews, prevention, child sexual abuse, schools, education, training, evaluation, school children;
Content type:
systematic review
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