Teaching Youth to Resist Abuse: Evaluation of a Strengths-Based Child Maltreatment Curriculum for High School Students

Marisol J. Diaz, Wendy Wolfersteig, Diane Moreland, Grant Yoder, Patricia Dustman, Mary L. Harthun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Child maltreatment (CM) is a serious and prevalent public health problem in the United States (U.S.) yet programming to combat the issue often overlooks high school aged youth (those aged 14–17). In 2017, over 90,000 youth in the U.S. experienced CM during their high school years (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services 2019). This manuscript will highlight the importance of prevention programs for youth affected by child maltreatment and report the findings of a pilot study that examined the effectiveness of the Childhelp Speak Up Be Safe Prevention Education Curriculum among high school students. The purpose of the pilot study was to determine if the revised and expanded curriculum for grades 9–12 was feasible and to examine the validity of the new survey items, including the RESIST strategy questions. The pilot study utilized a two-phase non-probability convenience sample to evaluate high school student gains in knowledge of safety related resistance strategies. High school students (N = 269) attending one urban charter public high school (grades 9–12) in the Southwest who completed pre- and post-survey RESIST strategy items participated in the pilot. The results indicated that students receiving the Childhelp Speak Up Be Safe Prevention Education Curriculum increased their identification and knowledge of safety related resistance strategies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Child and Adolescent Trauma
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2020

Keywords

  • Adolescents
  • Child maltreatment
  • Curriculum
  • Evaluation
  • Prevention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine

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