ERIC Number: EJ719342
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Jan
Reference Count: 31
Multivariate Structure of Sexual Behaviors in Children: Associations with Age, Social Competence, Life Stressors, and Behavioral Disorders
Santtila, Pekka; Sandnabba, Kenneth N.; Wannas, Malin; Krook, Katja
Early Child Development and Care, v175 n1 p3-21 Jan 2005
The purpose of the present research was to explore the sexual behavior of children in Finnish daycare centers in order to identify subsets of homogeneous behaviors. The aim was also to explore effects of moderating factors, such as negative life events and behavioral disturbances, on the presence of variables within these subsets. A representative sample of 364 Finnish children not screened for developmental delay, sexual abuse history or psychiatric problems (181 girls and 183 boys) in 190 daycare centers were studied using the 'Day-Care Sexuality Questionnaire' using members from the personnel as informants. For boys 37 sexual behavior items and for girls 31 sexual behavior items were selected for analyses in the present study. The results of the principal components analyses were clear and logical. For boys, four factors (masturbatory/genital self-touch, sexual swearing/exhibitionism, closeness seeking/gender confusion, intrusive/defensive sexual behavior) and for girls three factors (closeness seeking/gender confusion, masturbatory/genital self-touch, closeness aversion) were identified. Several moderating factors affecting the occurrence of sexual behaviors on the different scales were identified. Generally speaking, negative life events and behavioral disturbances as well as positive personnel attitudes towards sexuality were associated with increased scale scores. In conclusion, sexual behaviors of children form clear clusters that are affected by a number of factors related to both the experiences of the children and the attitudes held by important adults and organisations surrounding them.
Descriptors: Foreign Countries, Young Children, Sexuality, Stress Variables, Gender Differences, Behavior Disorders, Experience, Child Care, Age Differences
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Preschool Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Finland