Volume 26, Issue 4 (1997)
Behavioral Versus Traditional Approaches to Prevention of Child Abduction
Daniel S. Bromberg, Blair T. Johnson
Abstract: The literature on the prevention of child abduction, which often results in sexual victimization, is reviewed. Traditional prevention approaches, including discussion of “stranger danger,” child lures, and escaping from abductors are presented. Shortcomings of traditional approaches in contrast to behavioral approaches to prevention of child abduction are revealed. Behavioral approaches use instruction, modeling, behavioral rehearsal, corrective feedback, and practice until criterion performance is reached. Scrutiny of the literature revealed that behavioral skills training appears to be a necessary component in effective prevention programs. Directions for future research are suggested, and implications for public policy and professional practice are discussed. Because behavioral skills training has been demonstrated to be superior to standard abduction prevention programs, it seems prudent that children undergo behavioral skills training. The focus of the training should be self-protective behaviors rather than presenting the possible consequences of failure to engage in self-protective behaviors (i.e., abduction and/or sexual victimization). The role of school psychologists in the prevention of child abductions concludes this discussion.
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