Childhood sexual abuse is a common, costly, and persistent problem affecting 20% of girls and 10% of boys worldwide. Survivors suffer a compounded convergence of mechanism that can set the stage for a host of deleterious outcomes including subsequent psychopathology, revictimization, substance abuse, teenage childbearing, sexual dysfunction, poor physical health, and intergenerational transmission. Annual US incidence rates have plateaued over the past few decades—an indication that preventions efforts have stagnated. Dr. Noll will outline the unique features that set sexual abuse apart from other forms of maltreatment and trauma in terms of its etiology, sequelae, and challenges for prevention.
By showcasing a unique state/university partnership, Dr. Noll will present results, as well as implementation triumphs and challenges, from a statewide universal sexual abuse prevention effort. Dr. Noll will also discuss the activities of Penn State’s NICHD Capstone Center for Excellence (P50HD089922, PI:Noll) which include: basic research on the biological embedding of child maltreatment; community-based-participatory research that directly benefits the child welfare system; and championing a National model for the Research-To-Policy collaboration where researchers compile relevant research, translate findings into products to educate, and support policymakers in evidence-informed policies designed to protect and promote the wellbeing of children.