Parents’ knowledge, attitudes, and experiences in child sexual abuse prevention in El Salvador

Alison Salloum*, Carly Johnco, Raquel Marina Zepeda-Burgos, Sandra L. Cepeda, Daniel Guttfreund, Juan Carlos Novoa, Sophie C. Schneider, Anne Lastra, Alicia Hurtado, Craig L. Katz, Eric A. Storch

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)
30 Downloads (Pure)


Childhood sexual abuse (CSA), a global public health problem, is often underreported especially in low-income countries such as El Salvador, and prevention efforts are needed. The purpose of this study was to examine knowledge, attitudes and experiences of CSA prevention and characteristics related to greater knowledge and openness to engaging in child abuse prevention among Salvadoran parents. Salvadoran parents (N = 478) completed questionnaires regarding demographics, definition and signs and symptoms of child abuse, personal experiences of CSA, CSA prevention training, and knowledge, attitudes and practices about preventing CSA. Most parents were knowledgeable about CSA, viewed CSA prevention as their responsibility, and had talked with their children about CSA, although 65.7% incorrectly believed that children are more likely to be abused by strangers. Parents with lower income were less knowledgeable and willing to participate in CSA prevention. CSA programing needs to involve parents and specifically target low-income parents.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)343-354
Number of pages12
JournalChild Psychiatry and Human Development
Issue number3
Early online date7 Dec 2019
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2020


  • child sexual abuse
  • prevention
  • children
  • El Salvador
  • parents


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