Knowledge and beliefs on child sexual abuse by Spanish university students

  • Noemí Pereda Departament de Personalitat, Avaluació i Tractament Psicològics, Facultat de Psicologia, Universitat de Barcelona
  • Mila Arch Departament de Personalitat, Avaluació i Tractament Psicològics, Facultat de Psicologia, Universitat de Barcelona
  • Raquel Guerra-González Departament de Personalitat, Avaluació i Tractament Psicològics, Facultat de Psicologia, Universitat de Barcelona
  • Gemma Llerena Departament de Personalitat, Avaluació i Tractament Psicològics, Facultat de Psicologia, Universitat de Barcelona
  • Marta Berta-Alemany Departament de Personalitat, Avaluació i Tractament Psicològics, Facultat de Psicologia, Universitat de Barcelona
  • Elisa Saccinto Facoltà di Psicologia, Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna Sede di Cesena
  • Ester Gascón Departament de Personalitat, Avaluació i Tractament Psicològics, Facultat de Psicologia, Universitat de Barcelona
Keywords: Sexual abuse, descriptive study by survey, myths, university students, Spain.

Abstract

Objective: The aim of this study was two-fold: to assess the level of knowledge of a sample of Spanish university students about child sexual abuse and to analyze the beliefs and myths that the university population has concerning this kind of maltreatment. Method: A random sample (n = 200) of students enrolled in Psychology were surveyed with a 21 items questionnaire. Results: The students stated that sexual abuse can occur at any age (61.3%) and in both sexes (58.8%). Besides, they place these acts within the family context (86.9%). However, just the 13% of the students have some knowledge about assessment methods of child sexual abuse and the majority of them do not know its criminal consequences (73.9%). If they had the certainty that an abuse has occurred, 98.5% would report it to the authorities; nevertheless, if they had just suspected it, an 81.3% of them would not report the alleged abuse. Conclusions: The results obtained show that the students surveyed had a good knowledge regarding child sexual abuse. However, there are still false beliefs which can impair the proper development of the profession.

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How to Cite
Pereda, N., Arch, M., Guerra-González, R., Llerena, G., Berta-Alemany, M., Saccinto, E., & Gascón, E. (1). Knowledge and beliefs on child sexual abuse by Spanish university students. Anales De Psicología / Annals of Psychology, 28(2), 524-531. https://doi.org/10.6018/analesps.28.2.148801
Section
Social and Organizational Psychology