Electronic Theses and Dissertations





Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Social and Behavioral Sciences

Committee Chair

Latrice C Pichon

Committee Member

Kenneth D Ward

Committee Member

Satish K Kedia

Committee Member

Matthew P Smeltzer


Nearly 31% of females and 17% of males experienced child sexual abuse (CSA) globally in 2012. In Zimbabwe, about 33% of young women aged 18-24 years experienced sexual abuse by age 18 in 2013. Because CSA perpetrators are likely to be someone known to the victim and the abuse likely to be perpetrated at the home of the victim, parents and other adult caregivers are in a unique position to support timely CSA disclosure and reporting.The purpose of this study was to generate information for development of interventions to strengthen CSA disclosure and reporting in Zimbabwe. The primary aim was to explore factors that influence intentions to disclose and report CSA. In addition, the study examined the association of parenting factors with children’s intentions to disclose CSA. The study analyzed formative and baseline survey data from an intervention trial in which focus group discussions (FGDs) with children (n=40) and parents (n=40) and, audio computer assisted self-interviewing with children (n=260) were conducted.Analysis of data from FGDs with children identified nine themes representing factors influencing children’s intentions to disclose CSA to parents. Three of these themes—discomfort discussing sex-related issues with parents, perceived negative and ineffective response from parents—relate to parenting factors. Similarly, FGDs with parents identified eleven themes representing factors influencing parents’ intentions to report a disclosed CSA. From analysis of quantitative data, children’s higher scores on parent-child communication about CSA was associated with increased odds of reporting a positive intention to disclose CSA. After adjusting for all measured confounders, each unit increase on parent-child communication about CSA scale was associated with three fold increase in odds of reporting positive intentions to disclose CSA (OR=3.37, 95%CI: 1.5, 7.56).By applying a mixed method design, and integrating perspectives of parents and children, this study identified additional factors and important nuances, thus broadening the breadth of understanding of previously documented factors associated with children’s CSA disclosure. These findings will augment available information needed for development and adaptation of targeted, evidence-based and culturally relevant CSA response interventions in Goromonzi District and other parts of Zimbabwe.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.