Effects of a child abuse prevention unit in health classes in four schools

Elaine Marshall, Ellen Buckner, Jan Perkins, Joyce Lowry, Charlotte Hyatt, Cathy Campbell, David Helms

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to assess changes in parenting attitudes among high school students as an effect of a child abuse prevention unit taught in a required health class. Attitudes were measured using the Adult- Adolescent Parenting Inventory (AAPI), which was administered as a pretest- posttest. This was a primary prevention approach targeting students before they become parents. The unit consisted of an overview of child abuse, normal developmental expectations of children, anger management, and positive parenting techniques. Students from 4 schools participated in the study, and most students in the sample (N = 585) demonstrated healthy parenting attitudes. Low scores on multiple scales at pretest were recorded for 3.6% of the sample. Effect of intervention was measured using paired t tests, and a positive and statistically significant effect of intervention was noted, especially in 2 of 4 schools. Low-scoring students increased scores significantly although not up to mean pretest levels for the whole sample. Recommendations for further community health nursing research and educational initiatives are supported by these findings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)107-122
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Community Health Nursing
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1996
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Community and Home Care
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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