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Prevalence of Child Sexual Abuse: A Corrective Metanalysis

NCJ Number
Social Service Review Volume: 73 Issue: 3 Dated: September 1999 Pages: 281-313
Rebecca M. Bolen; Maria Scannapieco
Michael R. Sosin
Date Published
33 pages
This study involved a metanalysis of random prevalence studies of child sexual abuse among North American populations; studies indicate prevalence estimates ranging from 2 to 62 percent.
Studies chosen for the current analysis had to use random sampling, and the population had to represent a community, State, or national North American adult population. Variables for the current analysis were operationalized based on available information. The dependent variable was the stated prevalence of child sexual abuse for each study. Independent variables were methodological characteristics of the studies. Results of the metanalysis suggest that child sexual abuse is a problem of epidemic proportions. The number of screen questions, the sample size, and the year in which the prevalence study was done significantly affect the state prevalence of child sexual abuse and account for wide variations in the results of previous studies. Predictors of the prevalence of both female and male child sexual abuse are discussed, as are implications of the findings of the current metanalysis. Supporting data are appended. 83 notes and 6 tables