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Prevalence of Child Sexual Abuse: A Corrective Metanalysis

Rebecca M. Bolen and Maria Scannapieco
Social Service Review
Vol. 73, No. 3 (September 1999), pp. 281-313
DOI: 10.1086/514425
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/514425
Page Count: 33
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Prevalence of Child Sexual Abuse: A Corrective Metanalysis
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Abstract

Prevalence estimates for child sexual abuse range from 2 percent to 62 percent. Reviews of these prevalence studies recognize that methodological differences among studies affect their stated prevalence yet disagree as to how they do so. The purpose of the current study was to perform our own metanalysis of all random prevalence studies using North American populations. Our results suggested that child sexual abuse is a problem of epidemic proportions. The number of screen questions, the size of the sample, and the year in which the prevalence study was done significantly affect the stated prevalence and account for the wide variance among previous studies' results.

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