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Am Psychol. 2000 Sep;55(9):1040-9.

Treatment for sexually abused children and adolescents.

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University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) School of Medicine, Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, Torrance 90509, USA.


The authors review research demonstrating the variable effects of childhood sexual abuse, the need for intervention, and the effectiveness of available treatment models. The well-controlled treatment-outcome studies reviewed do not focus on sensationalistic fringe treatments that treat sexually abused children as a special class of patients. Instead, studies demonstrate empirical evidence for extending and modifying treatment models from mainstream clinical child psychology to sexually abused children. The authors propose a continuum of interventions to meet the needs of this heterogeneous group. Interventions range from psychoeducation and screening, to short-term, abuse-focused cognitive-behavioral therapy with family involvement, to more comprehensive long-term plans for multiproblem cases. Last discussed are gaps in the research and suggestions for future research to address the pressing dilemmas faced by clinicians and policymakers.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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