Treatment for Sexually Abused Children and Adolescents

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The authors review research demonstrating the variable effects of childhood sexual abuse, the need for intervention, and the effectiveness of available treatment models. The well-controlled treatment-outcome studies reviewed do not focus on sensationalistic fringe treatments that treat sexually abused children as a special class of patients. Insted, studies demonstrate empirical evidence for extending and modifying treatment models from mainstream clinical child psychology to sexually abused children. The authors propose a continum of interventions range from psychoeducation and screening, to short-term, abuse-focused cognitive-behavirol therapy with family involvement, to more comprehensive long-term plans for multiproblem cases. Last discussed are gaps in the research and suggestions for future research to address the dilemmas faced by clinicians and policymakers.

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