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ERIC Number: ED240430
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Aug
Pages: 20
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
What Parents Tell Their Children about Child Sexual Abuse.
Finkelhor, David
Information on child sexual abuse is most meaningful and effective when given to the child from a parent. To investigate the kinds of prevention information that is exchanged in households and the obstacles to effective exchange, 521 Boston parents (187 male, 334 female), with children aged 6 to 14, were interviewed. The interview focused on knowledge of sexual abuse, instruction given to children, incidence and how it was handled, and a self-administered section on respondents' childhood sexual abuse experiences. An analysis of the results show that in spite of a surprising amount of knowledge about the problem of sexual abuse, only 29 percent of the parents had talked with their children about it. Mothers tended to discuss the subject with their children more than fathers, with the majority of parents feeling that age 9 was an appropriate age for talking about sexual abuse. Overall, parents tended to be vague in their discussions and relatively complacent, doubting that abuse would occur to their child in their neighborhood. Further reasons for avoiding talking with their children were age of child, fear of frightening the child, and overall reticence in discussing sex. The two biggest motivators for parents communicating with children about sexual abuse were hearing about abuse that happened to someone else in the neighborhood or social network, and having been victimized themselves. (BL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Researchers
Language: English
Sponsor: National Inst. of Mental Health (DHHS), Rockville, MD. National Center for the Control and Prevention of Rape.
Authoring Institution: New Hampshire Univ., Durham.
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association (91st, Anaheim, CA, August 26-30, 1983). Portions may be marginally legible because of broken type.