This chapter presents the methodology and findings of a multisite evaluation of treatment services for sexually abusive juveniles in Canada.
The evaluation found very few improvements following sex offense-specific treatment. Given that most programs in the evaluation attempted to include approximately 21 different "components/targets," it may be that the programs are attempting to do too much. Efforts to provide comprehensive treatment programs may limit the program's ability to have an impact on specific factors, such as sexual fantasies, impulsiveness, and obsession with sex. What may be needed is the development of interventions with a more narrow focus, possibly one that targets four core areas (sexuality, antisocial patterns, family, and general functioning) in a specific and structured manner that can be continually monitored and evaluated. In order to continue to advance knowledge of effective treatment for sexually abusive juveniles and reduce the likelihood of reoffending, it is important to evaluate pre/post-treatment changes on factors considered critical in addition to conducting recidivism studies. The evaluations also found the sexually abusive juveniles are a heterogeneous group due to age-related developmental and maturational changes. Such diversity can have a significant impact when synthesizing and extrapolating information from existing research studies with homogeneous samples that limit generalization of the findings. The evaluation involved 15 agencies from four Provinces and one Territory, yielding data on 137 juveniles with a mean age of 15.9 years. Data were collected at multiple points in time from three sources: the adolescent, his/her primary therapist, and the juvenile's parents or guardians. Assessment periods were specific to each agency but followed the same general pattern: intake, near the completion of 1 year of treatment, and after approximately the second year of treatment. Instruments used in the evaluation are identified and described. 4 tables and 34 references
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