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Keywords:

  • self-protection;
  • child abduction;
  • child molestation;
  • safety;
  • instructional television;
  • direct instruction;
  • videotape training;
  • young children

This study compared the effectiveness of a videotape training program with other methods of teaching children self-protection to prevent child abduction. Subjects were kindergarten and first-grade students. Four experimental conditions were presented: videotape with behavior rehearsal, videotape only, a standard safety program, and no training. Acquisition of self-protective behaviors was measured at posttraining and follow-up by having confederate adults entice the children near their schools and homes. Results revealed that the videotape program with behavior rehearsal was highly effective in teaching children safe responses to potential abductors. The standard safety program was effective with fewer than half of the children. Three fourths of the children who received no training immediately agreed to go with the confederate suspects. The videotape program can be easily used with groups of young children in a classroom setting.