Program

Mar 14, 2007

OVERVIEW

The Children Need to Know Personal Safety Program was a
child abuse prevention program that used role-playing to protect the safety of
children by decreasing their risk of abduction and abuse by a stranger.
The program was evaluated once right after the intervention and then again six
months later. The results of both evaluations show the effectiveness of
the child abuse prevention program at teaching the children skills to decrease
their risk of being abused and abducted. In 1994, the program was updated
and is now called Safe Child Program.

DESCRIPTION OF
PROGRAM

Target population: Students enrolled
in kindergarten, first, and second grades of a midtown Denver elementary
school.

The
program consisted of 8 20-minute classroom sessions focused on helping children
to protect their personal safety by teaching them rules about what to do when a
caretaking adult was not around. The rules were: (1) Stay an arm’s
reach away. (2) Don’t talk or answer questions. (3) Don’t take
anything. (4) Don’t go anywhere. The program provided opportunities
for the children to practice those rules through role-playing.

EVALUATION(S) OF
PROGRAM

Fryer,
G.E., Kraizer, S.K., Miyoshi, T. (1987). Measuring actual reduction
of risk to child abuse: A new approach. Child Abuse & Neglect,
11. 173-179.

Evaluated
population: 
Twenty-four students were randomly assigned to both the
experimental and control groups. Of these, 21 from the control group and
23 from the experimental group were included in the study results because they
were in school on both testing days.

Approach: Children in the experimental group participated in the 8-day block of child
abuse prevention sessions, while the students in the control group received no
instruction. Immediately before the class, the Peabody Picture Vocabulary
Test (PPVT) was given to the children in order to assess their ability to
master the concepts presented in the class. The students took two other
tests both prior to and after the program. The Harter Perceived
Competence Scale for Children was used to measure self-esteem which some
believe is related to abuse. The Children Need to Know Knowledge-Attitude
Test was administered to measure the children’s cognitive awareness of
issues associated with risk and prevention of abuse. In addition to the
three tests, each child participated in a simulation the day before and the day
after the classroom program where a research assistant posed as a stranger in
an isolated part of the school and asked the child to help them do something
that would require them to leave the school building together. The
student passed the simulation if they did not agree to the stranger’s
request and did not pass it if they did agree to the stranger’s request.

Results: During the pretest 47.6 percent of the
control group children agreed to go with the stranger compared to 56.5 percent
of the experimental group members. During the posttest, there was no
change in the control group. However, only 21.7 percent of the
experimental group children did not pass the test. Among the experimental
group members, those who passed the second simulation scored higher than others
in that group on both the composite pre-Harter self-esteem test score and the
post-intervention knowledge-attitude test score. Therefore, high
self-esteem before the intervention seems to facilitate acquisition of the
training.

Fryer,
G.E., Kraizer, S.K., Miyoshi, T. (1987). Measuring children’s
retention of skills to resist stranger abduction: Use of the simulation
technique. Child Abuse & Neglect, 11. 181-185.

Evaluated
population: 
29 children in grades K-2 of a Denver elementary school.

Approach: Study 2 is a quasi-experimental continuation of study 1 discussed above
(Fryer, G.E., Kraizer, S.K., Miyoshi, T. (1987). Measuring actual
reduction of risk to child abuse: A new approach. Child Abuse &
Neglect,
11. 173-179.).The study had three main goals:
1) to find out if the children in the experimental group who mastered the
prevention skills in the first study retained them 6 months later 2) to find
out if the children in the experimental group who failed the post-training
simulation would pick up the skills if they were taught them a second time, and
3) to find out if the results of the first project could be repeated with the
control group children. The program was presented just like it was before to
all control group children and to the four children of the experimental group
who failed the post-training simulation the year before. The cognitive
tests conducted with the prior program were not used this time, but the third
simulation was very similar to the two used during the last evaluation.

Results:
The results of the second evaluation also demonstrated the effectiveness of the
intervention. Only 6.9 percent of the children who participated in the
final simulation did not pass. This can be compared to 52.3 percent of
the children not passing prior to any intervention. All of the children who
passed the simulation immediately after instruction in the previous year passed
the final simulation. These results show that six months after program
participation, the children did retain the skills. While the skills learned
from the intervention do not seem to be short-term, more research is needed in
order to determine if the children were able to retain the information for
longer than six months. In addition, the two children who failed the
third simulation had also failed the two simulations the year before.
Therefore, there may be a small number of children who do not benefit from this
type of program.

SOURCES FOR MORE
INFORMATION

Link to program curriculum: http://www.safechild.org/Order.htm

References

Fryer, G.E., Kraizer, S.K., Miyoshi, T. (1987).
Measuring actual reduction of risk to child abuse: A new approach. Child
Abuse & Neglect,
11. 173-179.

Fryer,
G.E., Kraizer, S.K., Miyoshi, T. (1987). Measuring children’s
retention of skills to resist stranger abduction: Use of the simulation
technique. Child Abuse & Neglect, 11. 181-185.

 

KEYWORDS: Children, Kindergarten, Elementary, Urban, Skills Training, Life Skills/Social Skills, Self-Esteem/Self-Concept, Other Safety, Manual Is Available

Program
information last updated 3/14/07

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