Prevention of child sexual abuse in China: Knowledge, attitudes, and communication practices of parents of elementary school children

Chen, JingQi, Dunne, Michael P., & Han, Ping (2007) Prevention of child sexual abuse in China: Knowledge, attitudes, and communication practices of parents of elementary school children. Child Abuse & Neglect, 31(7), pp. 747-755.

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Active involvement by parents may contribute substantially to the success of school-based programs to prevent child sexual abuse (CSA). In China, little is known about parental understanding of CSA. This study investigated Chinese parents' knowledge, attitudes, and communication practices with their children about CSA.


Six hundred and fifty-two parents of Grade 3 pupils of seven elementary schools in Jingzhou city, Hubei province (central China), completed an anonymous questionnaire (response rate=81%).


More than 95% of respondents agreed that elementary schools should provide programs to prevent CSA and were willing to have their children participate in such programs. Although nearly all parents talked with their children about stranger danger, they were much less likely to talk specifically about sexual abuse. Many parents personally lacked basic knowledge about characteristics of perpetrators, the sexual abuse of boys, and nonphysical consequences of CSA. About half (46.8%) expressed some concern that CSA preventive education could cause their children to know "too much about sex." Contrary to expectations from research in western nations, parents who talked with their children about CSA did not have better knowledge or more supportive attitudes to CSA prevention than did parents who said they never discussed CSA with their children.


This study confirms and extends two recent surveys indicating strong support for the concept of school-based CSA prevention in China. However, given the apparently low levels of knowledge about CSA, even among those who talk about this problem with their children, future prevention programs should include community-wide efforts to educate adults to ensure that parental advice is accurate and hopefully, effective.

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ID Code: 10198
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
DOI: 10.1016/j.chiabu.2006.12.013
ISSN: 0145-2134
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES (111700) > Community Child Health (111704)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Centre for Health Research
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2007 Elsevier
Deposited On: 17 Oct 2007 00:00
Last Modified: 16 Oct 2015 00:15

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