School-based Child Sexual Abuse Interventions: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis

School-based Child Sexual Abuse Interventions: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis

Lu, M. Y. Barlow, J. Meinck, F. Walsh, K. Wu, Y. M.
Research on Social Work Practice
Purpose The purposes of this systematic review were to systematically summarize components in existing school-based child sexual abuse (CSA) prevention programs and identify predictors for program effectiveness. Method Building upon the most comprehensive systematic review on this topic, we conducted systematic searches in both English-language from September 2014 to October 2020 and Chinese-language from inception to October, 2020. Meta-regressions were performed to identify predictors for program effectiveness. Results Thirty-one studies were included with a total sample size of 9049 participants. Results from meta-analyses suggested that interventions are effective in increasing participants' CSA knowledge as assessed via questionnaires (g = 0.72, 95% CI [0.52-0.93]) and vignette-based measures (g = 0.55, 95% CI [0.35-0.74]). Results from meta-regression suggested that interventions with more than three sessions are more effective than interventions with fewer sessions. Interventions appear to be more effective with children who are 8 years and older than younger children. Discussion CSA is a global issue that has significant negative effects on victims' physical, psychological, and sexual well-being. Our findings also provide recommendations for future research, particularly in terms of optimizing the effectiveness of school-based CSA prevention programs, and the better reporting of intervention components as well as participant characteristics.

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