Patterns of child sexual abuse knowledge among professionals

Roberta A. Hibbard, Terrell W. Zollinger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


To better understand knowledge and perceptions of child sexual abuse, a survey was conducted of 902 professionals attending child sexual abuse educational programs during 1986-1987. About half (50.8%) of the group reported seeing at least two child sexual abuse cases a month, while 20.5% reported seeing five or more. Almost half (48.9%) of the respondents reported previous formal training regarding child sexual abuse. Professionals were generally knowledgeable about child sexual abuse; however, at least 20% of the professionals were not knowledgeable about some items that are important in the identification of child sexual abuse and that might hamper the legal and medical investigation of a case. Those with formal training, more years of professional practice, and who see five or more victims per month answered more questions correctly, but the differences were not always statistically significant. Further training for both medical and non-medical professionals is needed to ensure appropriate care of child sexual abuse victims and to improve communication and coordination of efforts between professions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)347-355
Number of pages9
JournalChild Abuse and Neglect
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1990


  • Child sexual abuse
  • Professional knowledge

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Social Psychology
  • Education
  • Law
  • Sociology and Political Science

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