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Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)


Graduate Studies

First Advisor

Martin T. Gipson

First Committee Member

Kenneth Beauchamp

Second Committee Member

Esther Cohen


Many crisis intervention programs have been developed for child abuse but very few primary prevention programs exist. Teaching prospective parents to cope with aversive child behaviors might prevent the occurrence of child abuse later.

The purpose of this study was to compare the effectiveness of using peer (high school students) and college students as trainers in a preventative approach to child abuse for high school students. It was proposed that peers would be better trainers because the trainees would be more likely to model their behavior and more at ease when asking the trainers questions. One hundred and thirty-four high school seniors were randomly assigned to one of three groups: control, college trained, or peer trained. These students rated their responses to potentially aversive child behavior situations and also role played their responses in these situations. Results indicated that there were no significant effects of training or types of trainers but the author concluded that more work should be done on the type of peer trainers used.