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Child Abuse Negl. 1997 Jul;21(7):669-80.

A meta-analytic investigation of group treatment outcomes for sexually abused children.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, University of Toledo, OH 43606, USA.



A meta-analytic review of outcome studies of group treatment for sexually abused children and adolescents was conducted to establish a quantitative measure of group treatment effectiveness for this population.


The psychological literature was searched for studies which met the following criteria: The effectiveness of group treatment for sexually abused children or adolescents was investigated, results were based on empirical measures, and sufficient statistical information was reported to calculate effect sized. This search resulted in 15 studies. Overall effect sized were then calculated for each study and an overall mean effect size across studies was calculated. Additionally, effect sizes were compared to assess for effects of group characteristics, response perspectives, and type of outcome variables used.


The overall mean effect size across studies was .79. Effect size comparisons based on response perspective and outcome variable groupings yielded no significant differences. While statistically insignificant, a trend of larger effect sizes for groups comprised exclusively of females was found.


Results from the current meta-analysis support the conclusion that effective group treatments for sexually abused children and adolescents exist and that the current meta-analysis can function as a comparison group for future researchers studying treatment outcome for this population. Suggestions for research are discussed.

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