Preventive Education Outreach on Social Media: The Quest to Enroll Community Members in a Child Sexual Prevention Workshop

Kate Guastaferro, Mia Melchior, Alexis S. Murphy-Costanzo, Anicia Anderson, Nicole Melamed, Stephanie Madden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Social media is a frequently used tool in health promotion efforts although less so for the prevention of child sexual abuse (CSA). This is due, in part, to the lack of standardized branding guides for community-based efforts in how to craft messages related to CSA prevention. This study examined the use of Twitter (now “X”) as a means of promoting participation in the adult-focused Stewards of Children CSA prevention workshop, prior to and following the implementation of a standardized branding guide. The exposure, reach, and engagement of the top tweets and top media tweets were examined over 24-months pre- and post-implementation of a five-point branding guide. Engagement was descriptively compared to the number of adults who enrolled in the Stewards of Children workshop. As evidenced by the increase in tweet impressions and the number of adults trained, it is likely the implementation of the branding guide was beneficial in promoting participation in the Stewards of Children workshop. Though participation in a program does not inherently suggest behavior change, getting participants to enroll is a crucial first step. The findings emphasize the potential of using social media to ultimately promote behavior change in the field of CSA prevention and beyond.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)963-978
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Child Sexual Abuse
Issue number8
StatePublished - 2023


  • Child sexual abuse
  • Twitter
  • health promotion
  • prevention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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