Provider Attitudes and Self-Efficacy When Delivering a Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Module: An Exploratory Study

Kate Guastaferro, Sarah A. Font, Sheridan Miyamoto, Kathleen M. Zadzora, Katie E. Walters, Kathryn O’Hara, Allison Kemner, Jennie G. Noll

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: As constant figures in children’s lives, parents are key in protecting children from sexual abuse. One barrier to reaching parents is that the topic can be difficult to broach and is sensitive in nature. Such barriers can interfere with implementation and fidelity of evidence-based prevention strategies that are focused on reducing rates of childhood sexual abuse (CSA). Aims: In this exploratory study, we examine provider attitudes about delivering CSA-specific content in an evidence-based prevention module and their self-efficacy. Method: Thirty-three providers participated in three surveys: prior to a skills-oriented training on how to deliver the CSA prevention module (pretraining), immediately posttraining, and 6 months posttraining. Changes in self-reported willingness to deliver content, beliefs about parents’ role in CSA prevention, and confidence about their ability to deliver content were assessed over time. Open-ended questions were coded thematically to reinforce quantitative findings. Results: Prior to training, providers were worried that parents would respond negatively to CSA content and were concerned about their comfort level discussing victimization and sexual development. Findings suggest that skill-oriented training and provision scripts effectively supported providers and improved confidence in delivering CSA prevention content. Discussion: Provider self-efficacy is an important element of implementation fidelity. This exploratory study demonstrated that, though providers may approach CSA content with wariness and trepidation, adequate skills-oriented training can reduce negative attitudes and increase perceived efficacy in the actual delivery of CSA content that persists through implementation. Conclusion: Skills-based training can significantly enhance fidelity in the delivery of difficult content included in parent-focused preventative interventions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)172-180
Number of pages9
JournalHealth Education and Behavior
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2023


  • child sexual abuse
  • parent education
  • prevention
  • providers
  • self-efficacy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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