Now showing 1 - 10 of 22
  • Publication
    Profiles of adolescent perpetrators of CSA
    Studies of the psychological adjustment of adolescents who sexually abuse other youngsters have shown that they differ from normal control groups, and hold some features in common with clinical control groups with other psychological problems and incarcerated control groups convicted of non-sexual offences. For example, they show more behaviour problems than normal controls but not incarcerated controls; they have difficulties with making and maintaining friendships and establishing empathy with others; they have problems with impulse control, anger management and assertiveness; and they come from families characterized by a variety of problems. Despite the burgeoning international literature in this area, few studies have been conducted on Irish adolescent sexual abusers and non-adjudicated abusers.
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  • Publication
    Profiles of adult survivors of severe sexual, physical and emotional institutional abuse in Ireland
    Adult survivors of institutional abuse were interviewed with a comprehensive assessment protocol which included the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire, the Institutional Child Abuse Processes and Coping Inventory, the Structured Clinical Interviews for Disorders of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders IV axis I disorders and personality disorders, the Trauma Symptoms Inventory, a Life Problems Checklist, the Experiences in Close Relationships Inventory and the Kansas Marital Satisfaction Scale. Profiles were identified for subgroups that described severe sexual (N = 60), physical (N = 102), or emotional (N = 85) abuse as their worst forms of maltreatment. Survivors of severe sexual abuse had the most abnormal profile, which was characterised by higher rates of all forms of child maltreatment and higher rates of post-traumatic stress disorder, alcohol and substance abuse, antisocial personality disorder, trauma symptoms and life problems. Survivors of severe emotional abuse were better adjusted than the other two groups. The profile of survivors of severe physical abuse occupied an intermediate position between the other two groups. A thorough assessment of abuse history and current functioning should be conducted when providing services to adult survivors of institutional abuse, since this may have important implications for the intensity of services required. Survivors of severe sexual abuse may require more intensive services.
      927Scopus© Citations 30
  • Publication
    A comparison of two programmes for victims of child sexual abuse: a treatment outcome study
    This study aimed to evaluate the comparative effectiveness of individual therapy and combined individual and group therapy in the treatment of the psychological sequelae of child sexual abuse. The Child Behaviour Checklist (CBCL), the Youth Self Report form (YSR), the Children's Depression Inventory (CDI) and the Trauma Symptom Checklist for Children (TSCC) were administered before treatment and 6 months later to a group of 20 young people who participated in individual therapy (IT) programmes and to a group of 18 young people who participated in programmes that involved combined individual and group therapy (IGT). For both types of programmes, statistically significant improvement occurred on the following scales: the total problems, internalizing problems, externalizing problems, withdrawn, somatic complaints, anxious/depressed, social problems, attention problems and aggressive behaviour problems CBCL scales; the total depression, interpersonal problems and anhedonia CDI scales; and the depression and anger TSCC scales. The only scale for which one therapy programme led to greater improvement than another was the CDI ineffectiveness scale. The IGT programme led to a reduction in the mean CDI ineffectiveness score, whereas a slight increase in the mean ineffectiveness score occurred in the IT group. There were no significant differences in the rates of clinically significant improvement associated with the two treatments and no major differences between cases who improved and those that did not improve over the course of therapy. From this study, it may be concluded that after 6 months, individual therapy and combined individual and group therapy were equally effective in the treatment of the psychological sequelae of child sexual abuse.
      667Scopus© Citations 32
  • Publication
    Child sex abuse and the Irish criminal justice system
    The aims of this study were to develop scales to assess experiences of sexually abused children in the Irish criminal justice system (CJS); identify aspects of the CJS which children experience as negative; compare the perceptions of children, parents and professionals of sexually abused children's experiences of the CJS; and determine correlations between perceptions of children's CJS experiences and current psychological adjustment. Forty-three children, 101 parents, 32 mental health professionals, 27 police officers and 21 lawyers completed parallel versions of the Criminal Justice System Questionnaire (CJSQ) which assessed satisfaction with aspects of the CJS relevant to sexually abused children, specifically: Gardaí (police), medical examination, Director of Public Prosecutions, waiting for court, court professionals, court context and the CJS. Fifteen scales were developed by conducting principal component analyses. Children gave negative ratings on nine of these, and on seven children, parents and professionals differed in their perceptions of how children experienced the CJS with mental health professionals viewing the impact of the CJS as more problematic than parents and children. Scores of children and parents on CJSQ scales correlated with indices of current psychological adjustment. These results point to the importance of making the Irish CJS more child-friendly and for evaluating these reforms with the CJSQ. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
      369Scopus© Citations 8
  • Publication
    Attachment styles and psychological profiles of child sex offenders in Ireland
    When 29 child sex offenders, 30 violent offenders, 30 nonviolent offenders, and 30 community controls were compared, a secure adult attachment style was 4 times less common in the child sex offender group than in any of the other three groups. Ninety-three percent of sex offenders had an insecure adult attachment style. Compared with community controls, the child sex offender group reported significantly lower levels of maternal and paternal care and significantly higher levels of maternal and paternal overprotection during their childhood. Compared with all three comparison groups, the child sexual offenders reported significantly more emotional loneliness and a more external locus of control. With respect to anger management, the child sexual offenders’ profile more closely approximated those of nonviolent offenders and community controls than that of violent offenders.
      2181Scopus© Citations 78
  • Publication
    Profiles of Irish survivors of institutional abuse with different adult attachment styles
    Two hundred and forty seven survivors of institutional abuse in Ireland were classified with the Experiences in Close Relationships Inventory as having fearful (44%), preoccupied (13%), dismissive (27%) or secure (17%) adult attachment styles. The group with the secure adult attachment style had the most positive profile, while the most negative profile occurred for the fearful group in terms of DSM IV diagnoses and scores on the Trauma Symptom Inventory, the Global Assessment of Functioning Scale, the World Health Organization Quality of Life 100 scale, and the Kansas Marital Satisfaction Scale. The profile of the preoccupied group was more similar to that of the fearful group. The profile of the dismissive group was more similar to that of the secure group
      555Scopus© Citations 10
  • Publication
    Psychological profiles of sexually abusive adolescents in Ireland
    Objective. This study aimed to profile the psychological and psychosocial characteristics of a group of Irish adolescents who had sexually abused other youngsters. Method. Levels of behaviour problems, personal adjustment, anger management and psychosocial adjustment were compared in 27 Irish adolescents with a history of sexual abusing another youngster (SA group); 20 clinical controls who had significant behavioural problems but no history of sexual offending (CC group); and 29 normal controls who were without significant psychological problems (NC group). Measures used included the Child Behaviour Checklist (CBCL); the Youth Self Report Form (YSR); selected scales from Beckett (1997) Adolescent Sex Offender Assessment Pack (ASOAP); and the Family Environment Scale (FES). Results. Compared with the CC group the SA group displayed fewer problems overall on the CBCL and the YSR. The SA group showed problems with self-esteem, emotional loneliness, and perspective taking similar to those of the CC group, but their impulsivity scores were similar to those of the NC group. The locus of control scores of the SA group fell between those of the CC and NC groups. The SA group showed an anger management profile which fell at an intermediate position between those of the NC and CC groups. The SA group showed problematic family functioning in the areas of expressiveness, behaviour control and social support similar to those of the CC group. Their difficulties with family cohesion were less severe than those of the CC group but worse than those of the NC group. Conclusions. Overall the psychological adjustment of adolescents with a history of sexual abusing others was more problematic that of normal controls but less problematic than that of youngsters who had significant behavioural problems but no history of sexual offending.
      797Scopus© Citations 16
  • Publication
    Evaluation of functional family therapy in an Irish context
    In an Irish context we conducted a retrospective archival study of functional family therapy (FFT) for adolescents with behavioural problems. Strengths and difficulties questionnaire data were collected from 118 families at the beginning and end of therapy (at baseline and follow up for dropouts) in a community-based clinic in a socially disadvantaged Dublin suburb. Analyses of the improvement in mean scores and clinical recovery rates showed that the outcome was associated with treatment completion and the extent to which therapists adhered to the FFT treatment manual. Therapy completers treated by high-adherent therapists had the most favourable outcome. In contrast, the worst outcome occurred for dropouts. The outcome of cases treated by low-adherent therapists fell between these two extremes. These results show that FFT may be effectively implemented in an Irish context, and that the effectiveness of treatment is associated with families remaining in treatment for an average of seventeen sessions, and receiving treatment from therapists who implement FFT with a high degree of fidelity.
      682Scopus© Citations 22
  • Publication
    Child maltreatment and adult psychopathology in an Irish context
    One-hundred-ninety-nine adult mental health service users were interviewed with a protocol that included the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire, the Structured Clinical Interviews for Axis I and II DSM-IV disorders, the Global Assessment of Functioning scale, the SCORE family assessment measure, the Camberwell Assessment of Need Short Appraisal Schedule, and the Readiness for Psychotherapy Index. Compared to a U.S. normative sample, Irish clinical cases had higher levels of maltreatment. Cases with comorbid axis I and II disorders reported more child maltreatment than those with axis I disorders only. There was no association between types of CM and types of psychopathology. Current family adjustment and service needs (but not global functioning and motivation for psychotherapy) were correlated with a CM history. It was concluded that child maltreatment may contribute to the development of adult psychopathology, and higher levels of trauma are associated with co-morbid personality disorder, greater service needs and poorer family adjustment. A history of child maltreatment should routinely be determined when assessing adult mental health service users, especially those with personality disorders and where appropriate evidence-based psychotherapy which addresses childhood trauma should be offered.
      477Scopus© Citations 5