Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Hardman, Alisha M.

Committee Member

Phillips, Tommy M.

Committee Member

Peterson, Donna J.

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access


Human Development and Family Studies

Degree Name

Master of Science


College of Agriculture and Life Sciences


School of Human Sciences


While commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC) is widespread, little research has been conducted regarding parents’ knowledge of, beliefs about, and protective actions against CSEC. Using Bronfenbrenner’s ecological systems model as a lens and a quantitative survey, this study explored four questions: how knowledgeable of CSEC are parents in Mississippi and the surrounding states; what beliefs do parents have toward CSEC; how are parents taking protective actions against CSEC; and how are parents’ knowledge, beliefs, and protective actions correlated? Results from 13 participants were examined for frequencies and correlations. Findings indicated that parents have a basic knowledge of CSEC, beliefs favorable to CSEC prevention and intervention, and parents take protective actions. However, gaps and inconsistencies existed. In future, practitioners should target parents and church staff for CSEC prevention and intervention education and training.