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- PublicationThe assessment and treatment of juvenile sex offenders in IrelandChild sexual abuse (CSA) is a widespread national problem. Evidence indicates that in between one-quarter to one-third of all cases the perpetrator is a juvenile sex offender. In the Republic of Ireland there are only 4 juvenile sex offender treatment programmes staffed by interagency, multidisciplinary teams. These teams have developed rigorous assessment and treatment procedures. The programmes take account of the multifactorial causation of juvenile sexual offending and the need to involve families and a variety of agencies in helping these youngsters develop more productive lives and avoid recidivism. There is a need to develop and evaluate similar programmes in each region of the country.
- PublicationPrevalence of CSA in IrelandProfessionals involved in working with victims or perpetrators of childhood sexual abuse (CSA) require a basic understanding of the nature of this problem in our society. The purpose of this article is to aid such an understanding from an Irish perspective by attempting a synthesis of two excellent and comprehensive research studies. Although these studies first appeared in the literature some time ago their findings remain relevant and in need of dissemination.
- PublicationAssessment and treatment of criminogenic needsIn this chapter we will consider the assessment and treatment of criminogenic factors in young people who engage in sexually abusive behaviour. Evidence from the theoretical and research literature will be used to highlight the extent of this problem and the significant role played by a coercive style of family interaction in its aetiology. We put forward our view that a useful approach to tackling non-sexual criminal and antisocial behaviour among juvenile sexual offenders is with reference to the "what works" literature concerning young people who present with Conduct Disorder. Consistent with ideas presenting an aetiological role for dysfunctional family interaction in sexual and nonsexual criminal and antisocial behaviour, the what works literature provides an evidence base that points to a continuum of therapeutic response ranging from parental behavioural training, to functional family therapy, multi-systemic therapy, and special foster care placement. We conclude the chapter by illustrating a functional family therapy approach to assessing, formulating, and intervening with a young person whose sexually abusive behaviour is part of more general criminal and antisocial activities with reference to a case example.
- PublicationChild sexual abuse in Ireland: A synthesis of two studies
- PublicationProfiles of adolescent perpetrators of CSAStudies 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.
- PublicationPsychological profiles of sexually abusive adolescents in IrelandObjective. 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.
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- PublicationEnhancing motivation to change in adolescent perpetrators of CSAThis article describes a group intervention aimed at promoting change among young people who have engaged in sexually abusive behaviour. The intervention combines two complimentary models of the process of change to produce what we describe as ‘11 Steps of Motivation and Action in Changing Sexually Abusive Behaviour’. A list of these steps can be presented to young people in treatment . Each step also has illustrative stories and accompanying question cards that invite group discussion designed to promote the process of change in young people with sexually abusive behaviour.
- PublicationThe clinical assessment of young people with sexually abusive behaviourThis chapter outlines some basic ideas that can be used to plan and conduct a clinical assessment for a young person referred for problems with sexually abusive behaviour. It begins by considering key characteristics that reflect a good approach to clinical assessment with this population. It then considers aspects of motivation that are important in planning such assessments. It will outline the main areas usually covered during a clinical assessment and concludes with ideas on formulating information from the assessment, report writing, and contracting for intervention. We use fictional case material to illustrate key points made regarding assessment throughout. The ideas contained in this chapter are drawn from a variety of sources including Beckett (1994), Graham, Richardson and Bhate (1997), Becker, (1998), APA Task Force (1999), Will (1999), and Sheerin and O’ Reilly (2000), and O’ Reilly (2001). Each of these authors provide useful information and ideas on conducting clinical assessments with young people who sexually abuse.
- PublicationIntroductionThis volume presents results from a series of empirical studies conducted in the field of child protection in Ireland. The studies throw light of the epidemiology of child sexual abuse (CSA), profiles of CSA survivors and perpetrators and their families, and important treatment-related issues. In this chapter an overview of key findings from the studies described in the remainder of the volume is presented.
- PublicationA robust method for the evaluation of prison based sex offender treatment programmesThis paper outlines the approach to evaluating the sex offender treatment programme currently running in the Irish prison system. It begins with an introduction to the scope of the problem of sexual offending as reflected by the extent of the prison population in Ireland who have been convicted of a variety of sexual offences. It then outlines two key points that can be gleaned from several decades of general research on evaluating the effectiveness of psychological treatments while indicating how they have been included in our present research. We also describe the variety of data sources that need to be incorporated into an effective evaluation of prison based sex offender treatment programmes. We conclude with an introduction to some preliminary findings from our on-going research. These finding high-light the return in terms of more reliable information when care is taken in developing a robust method for the evaluation of prison-based sex offender treatment programmes.