Adapting a selective parent-focused child sexual abuse prevention curriculum for a universal audience: A pilot study

Kate Guastaferro, Vanessa Abuchaibe, Kaylee V. McCormick, Arushee Bhoja, Ella Abourjaily, Mia Melchior, Corinne Grayson, Paige Welikson, Colin Dan, Meron B. Zeleke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Parents are an obvious, but underutilized player in the prevention of child sexual abuse (CSA). A handful of universal parent-focused prevention programs have emerged, however, the evidence for these programs is mixed and the programs suffer ubiquitously from barriers to implementation (e.g., poor engagement, low participation) thereby limiting public health impact. To combat these barriers and improve evidence, researchers previously developed and tested a selective parent-focused CSA prevention program. While promising, the selective approach still leaves a gap in the prevention landscape-parents from the universal audience. However, there appear to be no standardized methods to inform this type of adaptation-interventions designed as universal or selective have primarily been delivered as such. This study sought to adapt the selective curriculum for a universal audience and examined the acceptability and feasibility of the program for evaluation in a future trial. Using mixed methods, N = 31 parents (i.e., primary caregiver for a child under 13) completed pre- and post-workshop surveys followed by a brief individual interview conducted via Zoom. Interviews, coded using content analysis methods, focused on three themes: parents as agents of prevention (e.g., prior action, confidence), curriculum (e.g., content, design), and engagement (e.g., future marketing and promotion). Overall participants' mean score on CSA-related awareness and intention to use protective behavioral strategies increased. The participants found the curriculum highly acceptable noting strengths in the content and design. All told, the results of this pilot study suggest the acceptability and feasibility of examining the efficacy of the universal parent-focused curriculum in a larger trial. Procedural challenges, such as bots in recruitment, identify areas of caution in design of the larger trial and a roadmap for others seeking to adapt selective programs for universal audiences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0302982
JournalPloS one
Issue number5 May
StatePublished - May 2024

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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