Date Approved


Embargo Period


Document Type


Degree Name

M.A. in Special Education


Interdisciplinary and Inclusive Education


College of Education


Kuder, S. Jay


Behavioral assessment; Children with disabilities; Self-esteem; Sexually abused children; Social skills in children


Special Education and Teaching


This study was designed to examine the effects of the Positive Action Program and the Sexual Abuse Prevention Program on sexually abused students' behavior, social skills, and self-esteem. Four classrooms of multiple handicapped elementary aged students in Burlington County Special Services District were selected, giving a sample of forty-four. Each week pupils received four lessons, for twenty minutes each, of instruction in the two programs. Prior to program implementation in the Fall and again in the Spring students rated their social skills development, behavior problems, and self-esteem.

Results indicated that the programs in the course of only a six month period did improve but there were no substantive changes in these areas. The study does clearly establish that sexually abused students are aware of weaknesses in the areas of social skill development, behavior problems, and lack of self-esteem. This study also established that the two treatment programs evaluated did not harm sexually abused students in these areas. The experienced Special Education Teachers and Social Workers who implemented Positive Action and The Sexually Abused Prevention Program all felt that education efforts such as these are enjoyable to the students, and given sufficient time, likely to produce positive results.