Children with Sexual Behaviour Problems Cognitive Behavioural Treatment: Pre-School Programme
A family-oriented, cognitive-behavioural, psycho-educational, and supportive treatment group designed to reduce or eliminate incidents of sexual behaviour problems.
Type of intervention
Group work, family work
Target groups, level of prevention and subgroups
- (Potential) Offenders | Secondary prevention | Young Children (0-5 years), Children (6-11 years) | Male and female | Group work, family work | English
- Communities and Families | Secondary prevention | Adults (21+ years) | Male and female | Group work, family work | English
Children with sexual behaviour problems; boys and girls aged 3 – 6 years and their parents/caregivers.
University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, USA.
Mode and context of delivery
The Sexual Behaviour Problems Cognitive-Behavioural Treatment Programme: Pre-school Programme is a familyoriented, cognitive-behavioural, psycho-educational and supportive treatment group designed to reduce or eliminate incidents of sexual behaviour problems. The programme is an outpatient group treatment programme for children aged 3 to 6 years and the parents or other caregivers. Recommended group size is 5-7 children per group. Groups are closed and time limited. The programme can be provided to individual families when group is not an option..
Level/nature of staff expertise required
Supervisor and lead therapists should be qualified and licensed mental health practitioners with previous experience in treatment for children and their caregivers, where behaviour problems and maltreatment have been identified.
Intensity/extent of engagement with target group(s)
Recommended intensity: 90 minute weekly session
Recommended duration: 12-14 sessions
Description of intervention
The goals of Children with Sexual Behaviour Problems Cognitive-Behavioural Treatment Programme: Pre-school Programme are to:
- Eliminate or reduce problematic sexual behaviour
- Improve child behaviour via better parental monitoring, supervision and behaviour management skills
- Improve parent-child interaction and communication
- Improve coping, self-control and social skills
Caregivers are taught about sexual development, 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. Children are taught private part rules and abuse prevention skills in the context of safety rules. Boundaries, emotional regulation, coping skills and basic impulse control strategies are taught and practiced during and between sessions.
The essential components of Children with Sexual Behaviour Problems Cognitive-Behavioural Treatment Programme: Pre-school Programme are:
- Modelling, observing and providing constructive and corrective feedback on skills
- A structured programme and a directive approach
- Addressing components with both children and caregivers
- Rules about sexual behaviour
- Abuse prevention skills
- Emotional regulation and coping skills
- Impulse control and problem solving skills
- Sex education
- Social skills and peer relationships
- Addressing additional components for caregivers
- Parent training to prevent and respond to sexual behaviour problems as well as other behaviour problems
- Sexual development and child development including moral development
- Dispelling misconceptions regarding the behaviour and implications to the child
Silovsky, J. F., Niec, L., Bard, D., & Hecht, D. (2007). Treatment for preschool children with sexual behavior problems: Pilot Study. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, 36, 378-391.
- Type of study: One group pre-test/post-test design
- Number of participants: 85
- Population age range: 3 to 6 years
- Race/ethnicity: Not specified
- Sex: Not specified
- Status: participants were children presenting co-occurring trauma symptoms and disruptive sexual behaviours referred from child protective services and other agencies or programmes
- Location/institution: Oklahoma Department of Human Services
This Programme has been rated as having promising research evidence by the California Evidence-Based Clearinghouse for Child Welfare (see cebc4cw) on whose published review this summary is based.
- Silovsky, J. F. (2009). Taking Action: Support for Families of Children with Sexual Behavior Problems. Vermont: Safer Society Press.
- Silovsky, J. F. & Niec, L. (1998). Group treatment for preschool children with problematic sexual behavior. Program manual. Unpublished treatment manual.
- Silovsky, J. F., Swisher, L., Widdifield, Jr., J. (in press). Children with Sexual Behavior Problems. In P. Goodyear-Brown (ed.). The Handbook of Child Sexual Abuse: Prevention, Assessment and Treatment. John Wiley & Sons
- 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