Children with Problematic Sexual Behavior Cognitive-Behavioral Treatment Program: School-age Program
About This Program
Target Population: Children (boys and girls ages 6 to 12 years of age) with sexual behavior problems and their caregivers
For children/adolescents ages: 6 – 12
For parents/caregivers of children ages: 6 – 12
Children with Sexual Behavior Problems Cognitive-Behavioral Treatment Program: School-Age Group is a family-oriented, cognitive-behavioral, psychoeducational, and supportive treatment group designed to reduce or eliminate incidents of sexual behavior problems:
- The program is an outpatient group treatment program for children ages 6 to 12 years and their parents or other caregivers.
- Program can be provided to individual families when group is not an option.
- The treatment is provided as an open-ended group, with children able to graduate in 4-5 months.
- Collaboration with child protective services, juvenile court personnel, school personnel, and others involved is highly recommended.
The children acknowledge the previous breaking of sexual behavior rules, learn coping and self-control strategies, and develop a plan of how they were going to keep these rules in the future. Caregivers were taught how to supervise the children, teach and implement rules in the home, communicate about sex education, and reduce behavior problems utilizing behavior parent training strategies.
The goals of Children with Sexual Behavior Problems Cognitive-Behavioral Treatment Program: School-Age Group are:
- Eliminate or reduce problematic sexual behavior
- Improve child behavior via better parental monitoring, supervision, and behavior management skills
- Improve parent-child interaction and communication
- Improve coping, self-control, and social skills
The essential components of Children with Sexual Behavior Problems Cognitive-Behavioral Treatment Program: School-Age Group include:
- Modeling, observing, and providing constructive and corrective feedback on skills
- Structured program and providers who use a directive approach
- Addressing components with Children and Caregivers
- Rules about sexual behavior
- Abuse prevention skills
- Emotional regulation and coping skills
- Impulse control and problem solving skills
- Sex education
- Social skills and peer relationships
- Acknowledge, apology, and amends
- Addressing additional components for caregivers
- Behavior parent training to prevent and respond to sexual behavior problems as well as other behavior problems
- Sexual development and child development including moral development
- Dispelling misconceptions regarding the behavior and implications to the child
- Separating out the groups by age:
- 6-9 year olds with 5 to 8 children per group
- 10-12 year olds with 5 to 8 children in each group.
- One caregiver group for children of the combined age ranges can be used – or separate caregiver group depending on program decisions.
Children with Problematic Sexual Behavior Cognitive-Behavioral Treatment Program: School-age Program directly provides services to children/adolescents and addresses the following:
- Sexual behavior problems, general behavior problems, and internalizing symptoms
Services Involve Family/Support Structures:
This program involves the family or other support systems in the individual's treatment: Program requires weekly parent/caretaker attendance and active participation, monitoring and supporting child application of skills between sessions, and ongoing assessment of child progress in treatment.
Children with Problematic Sexual Behavior Cognitive-Behavioral Treatment Program: School-age Program directly provides services to parents/caregivers and addresses the following:
- Parent/caregiver of a child with sexual behavior problems; parent may have limited understanding of sexual development, sexual behavior problems, and parenting strategies that improve boundaries and reduce sexual behavior problems
60-90 minute weekly session
4 to 5 months depending on meeting graduation criteria
This program is typically conducted in a(n):
- Outpatient Clinic
Children with Problematic Sexual Behavior Cognitive-Behavioral Treatment Program: School-age Program includes a homework component:
Each week the child and caregiver have activities that have them apply or practice the skills/ information taught.
Resources Needed to Run Program
The typical resources for implementing the program are:
- Group rooms including one room large enough to hold all the families for the parent-child group component
- Chalk or dry erase board
- Co-therapists for each child group (recommended). One therapist for the caretaker/parents group
- Personnel to conduct the intake assessments
- Supervisor/director of the program
- Therapeutic materials, such as books
Education and Training
Prerequisite/Minimum Provider Qualifications
Supervisor and lead therapists are recommended to be licensed mental health practitioners with previous experience in treatment for children and their caregivers for children with behavior problems and children who have been maltreated.
Education and Training Resources
There is a manual that describes how to implement this program , and there is training available for this program.
- Jane F. Silovsky, PhD
phone: (405) 271-8858
Training is obtained:
Onsite or at The University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center
Number of days/hours:
Depends in part on training and experience of staff to be trained. Typically, there are 4 days of initial training, ongoing consultation (preferred live observation of program via polocom), and at least one booster training visit.
There are pre-implementation materials to measure organizational or provider readiness for Children with Problematic Sexual Behavior Cognitive-Behavioral Treatment Program: School-age Program as listed below:
The Sexual Behavior Problems of Youth Program Assessment assesses organizational and provider readiness and capacity for EBP for youth with SBP. The assessment asks about current referral, intake, and treatment program and capacities as well as staff, agency, and program skills, resources, and abilities. It is available via Dr. Silovsky contact info above and at the end.
Formal Support for Implementation
The program representative did not provide information about formal support for implementation of Children with Problematic Sexual Behavior Cognitive-Behavioral Treatment Program: School-age Program.
There are no fidelity measures for Children with Problematic Sexual Behavior Cognitive-Behavioral Treatment Program: School-age Program.
Implementation Guides or Manuals
There are implementation guides or manuals for Children with Problematic Sexual Behavior Cognitive-Behavioral Treatment Program: School-age Program as listed below:
There is background manual that provides information to assist agencies with their program development.
Research on How to Implement the Program
The program representative did not provide information about research conducted on how to implement Children with Problematic Sexual Behavior Cognitive-Behavioral Treatment Program: School-age Program.
Relevant Published, Peer-Reviewed Research
This program is rated a "2 - Supported by Research Evidence" on the Scientific Rating Scale based on the published, peer-reviewed research available. The program must have at least one rigorous randomized controlled trial with a sustained effect of at least 6 months. The article(s) below that reports outcomes from an RCT showing a sustained effect of at least 6 months has an asterisk (*) at the beginning of its entry. Please see the Scientific Rating Scale for more information.
*Carpentier, M., Silovsky, J. F., & Chaffin, M. (2006). Randomized trial of treatment for children with sexual behavior problems: Ten year follow-up. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 74(3), 482-488.
Type of Study:
Randomized controlled trial
Number of Participants: 291
- Age — 5-12 years
- Race/Ethnicity — 85% Caucasian, 9% African American, 4% American Indian, and 2% Other
- Gender — 67% Male and 33% Female
- Status — Participants in the treatment group were children with sexual behavior problems recruited from child welfare, law enforcement and juvenile court, physicians, school personnel and mental health centers.
Location/Institution: Oklahoma State University and University of Oklahoma
Summary: (To include comparison groups, outcomes, measures, notable limitations)
The study provided long-term follow-up data for children with sexual behavior problems from a randomized trial comparing the 12-session Children with Sexual Behavior Problems Cognitive-Behavioral Treatment Program: School-Age Group and group play therapy (based on a combination of client-centered and psychodynamic play therapy principles). 135 children were randomized into one of two treatment groups, and compared to a sample of 156 children with nonsexual behavior problems treated at the same mental health clinic. Ten-year follow-up data on future juvenile and adult arrests and child welfare perpetration reports were collected. Measures were administered at baseline, post-treatment, at 1-year and 2-year follow-ups and included the Child Behavior Checklist-Parent Form (CBCL), Child Sexual Behavior Inventory, Version 2 (CSBI-2), and the Kaufman Brief Intelligence Test (KBIT). Results indicated that the CBT group had significantly fewer future sex offenses than the play therapy group (2% vs. 10%) and did not differ from the general clinic comparison (3%), supporting the use of short-term CBT. There were no group differences in nonsexual offenses (21%). A limitation is that offense data was only obtained from Oklahoma and children may not have lived in the state for the entire 10 year follow-up period, and thus offenses may be under-reported, with any offenses committed in other states not included in the analyses.
Length of postintervention follow-up: 10 years.
Bonner, B. L., Walker, C. E., & Berliner, L. (1999b). Treatment manual for cognitive behavioral group therapy for children with sexual behavior problems. Grant No. 90-CA-1469. Washington D.C.: Administration of Children, Youth, and Families, DHHS.
Bonner, B. L., Walker, C. E., & Berliner, L. (1999c). Treatment manual for cognitive behavioral group treatment for parents/caregivers of children with sexual behavior problems. Grant No. 90-CA-1469. Washington D.C.: Administration of Children, Youth, and Families, DHHS.
Silovsky, J. F., Swisher, L., & Widdifield, J. (2010). Treatment for school-age children with sexual behavior problems and their families: 3rd Edition. Adapted from Bonner, Walker, & Berliner (1999).
Date Research Evidence Last Reviewed by CEBC: January 2017
Date Program Content Last Reviewed by Program Staff: October 2018
Date Program Originally Loaded onto CEBC: April 2011