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Child Abuse Negl. 1999 May;23(5):477-85.

Treatment effects with an adolescent abuse survivor's group.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Medical College of Virginia Hospitals, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, USA.



The goal of the study was to demonstrate the efficacy of a structured group therapy intervention in reducing the negative emotional and behavioral sequelae of adolescent girls' who are survivors of sexual abuse. It was hypothesized teens would show an increase in adaptive behaviors and knowledge of positive coping strategies.


A 7-session structured group treatment protocol based on Solution Focused and Ericksonian interventions was used. Forty-one teens between the ages of 13 and 18 years old participated in the groups. Each group session included a didactic presentation. an art activity and development of a positive associational cue. Pre- and post-test assessment was done using the Solution Focused Recovery Scale, a measure of adaptive functioning; and the Skill Mastery Test, designed to evaluate teens knowledge of the concepts and strategies taught throughout the group.


Overall, there was a significant change in pre- to post- measurements of adaptive functioning as assessed by the Recovery Scale. At this time, no statistically significant pre- to post- changes were evident for scores on the Skill Mastery Test. However, there was a trend toward improvement on visual inspection of the Skill Mastery scores.


This study demonstrates emphasizing competence and skill development in the treatment of adolescent abuse survivors can aid teens in improving their daily functioning and positive recovery behaviors. In addition, early findings regarding the efficacy of this intervention suggest theory driven research methodology can be applied in a clinical setting with standardized treatment protocols.

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