Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD) are at an increased risk of experiencing sexual abuse. While there are evidence-based prevention programs for typically developing children, research addressing the IDD population is lacking. Research is also lacking in parent's attitudes towards sexual abuse prevention in the IDD population. Study 1 used a mixed-methods design to measure parent's perceptions of a sexual abuse prevention program. A survey method was used to gather information from parents (n=79). Differences of a variety of variables were considered but only those focusing on the nature of disability, communication abilities, and severity of disability were significant. Overall, the parent survey found that parents believe sexual abuse prevention was important for their children to learn and should be taught in the home and at school. Parents did not feel their children had adequate knowledge, and were interested in having their children participate in a sexual abuse prevention program. The most common fears and barriers held by parents were that their children would not be able to understand or generalize sexual abuse prevention, and that the topic is sensitive and can be difficult to teach. Parents who participated in the survey were invited to enroll their children in the sexual abuse prevention program used for the Study 2. The purpose of Study 2 was to evaluate the effects of a sexual abuse prevention program on adolescents with IDD using a single case design. A total of five adolescents were enrolled in the program. Four out of the five adolescents met criterion indicating that sexual abuse prevention programs can be effective in increasing knowledge among adolescents with IDD.



College and Department

David O. McKay School of Education; Counseling Psychology and Special Education



Date Submitted


Document Type





sexual abuse, abuse prevention, intellectual disability, special education



Included in

Education Commons