Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
Degree Granting Department
Child and Family Studies
Sarah E. Bloom, Ph.D., BCBA-D
Raymond Miltenberger, Ph.D., BCBA-D
Andrew Samaha, Ph.D., BCBA-D
Victoria Damjanovic, Ph.D.
consent education, consent skills, personal boundaries, preventing sexual violence
Currently, eight states and Washington D.C. mention consent education in their sex education standards (Naide, 2020). Most school-based consent education curricula focus on teaching pre-teens through adults consent within the context of sexual contact (Planned Parenthood, 2016). However, consent may be relevant for behavior outside the context of sexual contact. Young children could develop a repertoire for consent skills and use it to set and respect boundaries. Furthermore, behavior analysis has teaching technologies that could be used to inform a curriculum for teaching consent, such as behavioral skills training (Johnson et al., 2006) and video modeling (Charlop & Milstein, 1989). Thus, these technologies may be well suited to design consent skills training programs. It is also possible that teaching consent to young kids for non-sexual personal boundaries could establish a repertoire of responses that promote respecting each individual’s autonomous body. This may lead to children exerting agency over their bodies later in life. The purpose of this study was to teach typically developing children consent skills. The study was conducted via Telehealth. Seven children between the ages of two and 10 years old across three families served as subjects. The children were taught how to set boundaries (i.e., say and hold/change their boundary) and respect boundaries (i.e., ask permission before entering a personal boundary and listen to the boundaries set by others). Results showed that lessons were effective at teaching all components of consent skills for one out of the three families with some idiosyncrasies between roles.
Scholar Commons Citation
Bell, Marlesha C., "Changing the Culture of Consent: Teaching Young Children Personal Boundaries" (2020). Graduate Theses and Dissertations.