Treatment of the sexually abused child: Review and synthesis of recent meta-analyses

Treatment of the sexually abused child: Review and synthesis of recent meta-analyses

Benuto, L. T. O'Donohue, W.
Children and Youth Services Review
Approximately 20 years ago O'Donohue and Elliott (1992) reviewed the treatment outcome literature for sexually abused children and evaluated each study on several criteria (e.g., adequacy of the description of therapy, subjects, and research design; assessment of clinical significance and social validity; inclusion of follow-up assessment to establish the durability of treatment effects etc.). At that time they were only able to identify 11 treatment outcome studies. Currently, a similar search has yielded several hundred outcome studies related to the treatment of child sexual abuse, several reviews of the literature, and seven relevant meta-analyses, clearly indicating a proliferation of much needed outcome research. In this paper we critically reviewed the seven meta-analyses and noted that different criteria for inclusion were used and some cases quite different conclusions were drawn. In this paper we describe and evaluate the seven meta-analyses and provide evidence-based treatment recommendations for children and adolescents who have been sexually abused. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)

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Type of intervention

Treatment and Child Welfare Interventions


Parenting Skills


Sexual Abuse


Psychological Treatments

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Behavioral Therapy and Cognitive Therapy

Age group

Preschool Aged Children (3-5 years)

School Aged Children (6-12 years)

Adolescents (13-18 years)


Overviews of Reviews

More information
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