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Some Said Too Young for Abuse Programs

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A new study on the effectiveness of child-abuse-prevention programs concludes that preschoolers are too young to benefit from them and funds should be shifted into programs for older children.

In a two-year study by researchers at the University of California at Berkeley, 118 preschoolers in seven child-abuse programs were interviewed before and after they received the instruction.

Neil Gilbert, professor of social welfare and head of the study, said children younger than 6 could not grasp the concepts they were being taught, such as the difference between a "good touch" and a "bad touch."

California, like several other states, requires all publicly funded preschools, junior highs, and high schools to offer such training. This year, the state has budgeted $10.4 million for that purpose.--lj

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