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Can preschool children learn abduction prevention skills?

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Thesis - Pacific Access Restricted


The purpose of this study was to evaluate the feasibility of training children as young as 3 years old to engage in appropriate responses to potentially dangerous situtions. Eighty-five children ranging in age from 3 to 5 years from various preschools were randomly assigned to one of two groups (posttest-only or pretest-posttest). Treatment involved the training package, Children Need to Know: Personal Safety Training (Kraizer, 1981). Training effectiveness was assessed by an analog measure of self-protection, in which a confederate adult approached and verbally attempted to lure the child from the setting. The results showed that (a) in comparing pretest and posttest scores of the pretest-posttest group, the posttest mean was significantly higher than the pretest mean; (b) in comparing the pretest scores from the pretest-posttest group and the posttest scores from the posttest-only group, no significant interactions or main effects were found; these results with the results in (a) support the idea of a testing effect and/or a pretest sensitization effect; and (c) in comparing the posttest scores from the pretest-posttest group and posttest scores from the posttest-only group, there were no significant interactions, however there was a significant main effect for Group. These results show that posttest scores were higher than pretest scores indicating the possibility of treatment increasing posttest means. However, the posttest-only group means were not significantly higher than the pretest means from the pretest-posttest group. Additionally, the significant difference between the posttest means from the two groups indicate there was a testing effect or possibly a pretest sensitization effect, or both. (Abstract shortened by UMI.)

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