This study explores the contribution of personal characteristics in the knowledge and skills gains of children taking part in the child abuse prevention program ESPACE. The program is an adaptation of the widely implemented American Child Assault Prevention Program (CAP). A group of 107 fourth-grade children completed a knowledge questionnaire and a video vignette measure designed to evaluate preventive skills in abusive and potentially abusive situations. Children were also invited to complete questionnaires evaluating individual characteristics such as self-esteem, locus of control and self-efficacy. The results highlight the importance of certain individual variables such as the child's gender, self-efficacy and perception of athletic competence in the acquisition of sexual abuse preventive skills.