Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Psychology (Ph.D.)



First Advisor

Elissa J Brown

Second Advisor

Lauren Moskowitz

Third Advisor

Tamara Del Vecchio


Childhood physical abuse (CPA), childhood sexual abuse (CSA), and bullying continue to impact children across the United States at an alarming rate, with immense psychological, physiological, and social cost (Child Maltreatment, 2020; U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2017; Carr, Duff, & Craddock, 2018; Ferrara et al., 2019). While majority of prevention programs target elementary age children (6-10), there is some disagreement amongst researchers as to the appropriateness of introducing these programs to children of the pre-school age (3-5 years). Keeping Every Child Safe (Child Safe; Brown & Beekman, 2014) is an evidence-based primary prevention program for caregivers of children ages 4-8, found to increase caregiver knowledge and use of protective behaviors regarding CPA, CSA, and bullying prevention (Brown, Canter, Chaplin, & Beekman, 2017). Seventy-two caregivers with children ages 4-8 participated in an open trial of Child Safe and were assessed before and after attending the Child Safe for Parents workshop. This study investigated the role of child- age in caregivers’ ability to learn preventative information and adopt protective behaviors. The results of the moderation analyses indicated that child age did not influence caregivers’ growth in knowledge or use of protective behaviors, challenging the assumption that children must be of a certain age for caregivers to benefit from prevention training. In doing so, this study provides important implications for public policy, prevention research, and school practices.

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