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Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)



First Advisor

Kenneth L. Beauchamp

First Committee Member

Martin T. Gipson

Second Committee Member

Granger Dinwiddle


The purpose of the present study was to evaluate a program designed to teach developmentally disabled women the self-protective skills necessary to prevent sexual abuse. Twenty developmentally disabled women participated in the study and were randomly assigned to either the control or experimental group. Both groups were given a pretest to measure any preexisting self-protective skills. The experimental group participated in a seven session program. The training program used the following behavior modification techniques to teach the self-protective skills: modeling, role-playing, and verbal and physical prompts. To test the self-protective skills learned, both groups were given a posttest. The experimental group's role-play mean increased from pretest to posttest while the control group's role-play mean decreased. The predicted testing by treatment interaction effect was significant. To test the retention of the self-protective skills learned, a follow-up role-play test was given to the experimental group 3 weeks later. There was no significant difference between the group's pretest mean and their follow-up mean which shows that there was no retention of the skills learned.



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