Children with Sexual Behaviour Problems Cognitive Behaviour Treatment Programme: School Age Group
A family-orientated, cognitive-behavioural, psycho-educational, and supportive treatment group designed to reduce or eliminate incidents of sexual behaviour problems.
Type of intervention
Family work, group work
Target groups, level of prevention and subgroups
- (Potential) Offenders | Tertiary prevention | Children (6-11 years), Young People (12-17 years), Adults (21+ years) | Male and female | Family work, group work | English
- Communities/Families | Tertiary prevention | Children (6-11 years), Young People (12-17 years), Adults (21+ years) | Male and female | Family work, group work | English
Children with sexual behaviour problems; boys and girls aged 6 -12 years and their families.
University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, USA.
Mode and context of delivery
Children with Sexual Behaviour Problems Cognitive-Behavioural Treatment Programme: School-Age Group is a familyoriented, cognitive-behavioural, psycho-educational and supportive treatment group designed to reduce or eliminate incidents of sexual behaviour problems. It is an outpatient group treatment programme for children ages 6 to 12 years and their parents or other caregivers. The programme can be provided to individual families when group is not an option. The treatment is provided as an open-ended group, with children able to graduate in 4-5 months. Collaboration with child protective services, juvenile court personnel, school personnel and others involved is highly recommended. The children acknowledge the previous breaking of sexual behaviour rules, learn coping and selfcontrol strategies and develop a plan of how they are going to keep these rules in the future. Caregivers are taught how to supervise the children, teach and implement rules in the home, communicate about sex education and reduce behaviour problems utilising behaviour parent training strategies.
Level/nature of staff expertise required
Supervisor and lead therapists are recommended to be licensed mental health practitioners with previous experience in treatment for children and their caregivers, where behaviour problems and maltreatment have occurred.
Intensity/extent of engagement with target group(s)
Recommended intensity: weekly seminars of 60-90 minutes each
Recommended duration: 4 to 5 months depending on meeting graduation criteria
Description of intervention
The essential components of Children with Sexual Behaviour Problems Cognitive-Behavioural Treatment Programme: School-Age Group are:
- Modelling, observing and providing constructive and corrective feedback on skills
- Structured programme and providers who use a directive approach
- Addressing components with children and caregivers
- Rules about sexual behaviour
- Abuse prevention sklls
- Emotional regulation and coping skills
- Impulse control and problem solving skills
- Sex education
- Social skills and peer relationships
- Acknowledgement, apology and amends
- Behavioural parent training to prevent and respond to sexual behaviour problems as well as to other behavioural problems
- Sexual development and child development including moral development
- Dispelling misconceptions regarding the behaviour and implications to the child
Separating out the groups by age:
- 6-9 year olds with 5-8 children per group
- 10-12 year olds with 5-8 chldren per group
One caregiver group for children of the combined age ranges can be used or separate caregiver groups depending on programme decisions.
This programme is highly rated by the California Evidence Clearinghouse for Child Welfare (see www.cebc4cw.org).
Carpentier, M., Silovsky, J.F. & Chaffin, M. (2006). Randomised trial of treatment for children with sexual behaviour problems: Ten year follow-up. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 74(3), 482-488.
- Type of study: Randomised controlled trial
- Number of participants: 291
- Population age range: 5 to 12 years
- Race/ethnicity: 85% Caucasian, 9% African American, 4% American Indian, and 2% Other
- Sex: 67% Male, 33% Female
- Status: Participants in the treatment group were children with sexual behaviour problems recruited from child welfare, law enforcement and juvenile court, physicians, school personnel and mental health centres.
- Location/institution: Oklahoma State University and University of Oklahoma
- Summary: The study provided long-term follow-up data for children with sexual behaviour problems from a randomised trial comparing the 12-session Children with Sexual Behaviour Problems Cognitive-Behavioural Treatment Programme: School-Age Group and group play therapy (based on a combination of client-centred and psychodynamic play therapy principles). 135 children were randomised into one of two treatment groups and compared to a sample of 156 children with nonsexual behaviour problems treated at the same mental health clinic. Ten-year follow-up data on future juvenile and adult arrests and child welfare perpetration reports were collected. Measures were administered at baseline, post-treatment, at 1-year and 2-year follow-ups and included the ‘Child Behavior Checklist-Parent Form’ (CBCL), Child Sexual Behaviour Inventory, Version 2 (CSBI-2, and the Kaufman Brief Intelligence Test (KBIT). Results indicated that the CBT group had significantly fewer future sex offences than the play therapy group (2% vs. 10%) and did not differ from the general clinic comparison (3%), supporting the use of short-term CBT. There were no group differences in nonsexual offences (21%). A limitation is that offense data was only obtained from Oklahoma and children may not have lived in the state for the entire 10 year follow-up period and thus offences may be under-reported, with any offences committed in other states not included in the analyses.
- Bonner, B. L., Walker, C. E., & Berliner, L. (1999b). Treatment manual for cognitive behavioural group therapy for children with sexual behavior problems. Grant No. 90-CA-1469. Washington D.C.: Administration of Children, Youth, and Families, DHHS.
- Bonner, B. L., Walker, C. E., & Berliner, L. (1999c). Treatment manual for cognitive behavioural group treatment for parents/caregivers of children with sexual behaviour problems. Grant No. 90-CA-1469. Washington D.C.: Administration of Children, Youth, and Families, DHHS.
- Silovsky, J. F., Swisher, L., & Widdifield, J. (2010). Treatment for school-age children with sexual behaviour problems and their families: 3rd Edition. Adapted from Bonner, Walker, & Berliner (1999).
- Carpentier, M., Silovsky, J.F. & Chaffin, M. (2006). Randomized trial of treatment for children with sexual behavior problems: Ten year follow-up. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 74(3), 482-488.
- Carpentier, M., Silovsky, J.F., & Chaffin, M. (2006). 10 year follow-up supports cognitive-behavioral treatment for children with sexual behavior problems: Implications for services, treatment implementation, and future directions. ATSA Forum, 1-21.
University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center
Information correct at January 2020