Effectiveness of behavioral skills training (BST) on knowledge of sexual abuse and resistance ability among children with intellectual disability

A pilot study

Natasha Thomas, Prasanthi Nattala, Shekhar Seshadri, Krishna Kumar P

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Sexual abuse among children with Intellectual Disability is 2-4 times the rate of the general population. 39% - 83% of girls and 16% - 32% of boys wit Intellectual Disability typically experience sexual abuse by the time they reach the age of 18. In order to protect themselves, children with Intellectual Disability must have the skills to independently recognize potentially abusive situations and respond appropriately. The current study focused on assessing the effectiveness of Behavioural Skills Training on knowledge of sexual abuse and resistance ability among children with Intellectual Disability. A true experimental, pre-test post-test control group design was adopted. Study was conducted among 14 children with mild or moderate disability (7 in the experimental and control groups respectively), randomly selected from a selected special school. Pre-assessment of subjects was done using the Personal Safety Questionnaire (PSQ), and video based modified What If Situation test WIST). BST was administered for one month (12 sessions). Post-assessment was done one week after the intervention. The Experimental Group demonstrated greater knowledge regarding sexual abuse (t=3.27, p=0.008) and resistance ability (WIST female t=5.85, p< 0.001, WIST male t=4.47, p=0.001) when compared to the control group. Current study findings suggest that BST is effective for children with mild or moderate Intellectual Disability in the experimental group. Further research with the same protocol to gain more subjects, is suggested in order to confirm the result before being applied as a primary prevention intervention for child sexual abuse in children with Intellectual Disability.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)22-30
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Child Development and Mental Health
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes


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