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Sexually Abused Children Suffering From Posttraumatic Stress Symptoms: Initial Treatment Outcome Findings

NCJ Number
Child Maltreatment Volume: 1 Issue: 4 Dated: November 1996 Pages: 310-321
Esther Deblinger; Julie Lippman; Robert A. Steer
Date Published
November 1996
12 pages

This paper reports on a research study examining the effects of a child or non-offending mother participating in cognitive behavioral intervention for treating posttraumatic stress disorder and other behavioral and emotional difficulties in young, sexually abused children.


In this paper, the authors discuss their research study which examined the differential effects of child or non-offending mother participation in a cognitive behavioral intervention designed to treat posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other behavioral and emotional difficulties in school-aged, sexually abused children. The 100 participating families were randomly assigned to a community control condition or to one of three experimental treatment conditions: child only; mother only; or mother and child. Pre- and post-treatment evaluation included standardized measurement of children's behavior problems, anxiety, depression, and PTSD symptoms as well as of parenting practices. Two-by-two least-squares analyses of covariance were used to compare outcome measures. Results indicated that mothers assigned to the experimental treatment condition described significant decreases in their children's externalizing behaviors and increases in effective parenting skills; their children reported significant reductions in depression. Children who were assigned to the experimental intervention exhibited greater reductions in PTSD symptoms than children who were not. The authors also discuss the implications for treatment planning and further clinical research. Publisher Abstract Provided