The current study examines whether an evidence-based treatment for externalizing behavior problems may reduce sexual concerns among children with maltreatment histories. An archival analysis identified 44 children between the ages of 3 and 8 exhibiting externalizing problems and co-morbid sexual concerns who were treated using Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT). A second group of children receiving PCIT for externalizing behaviors without sexual concerns was included for comparison purposes (n = 143). Wilcoxon Signed-Ranks Tests indicated significant improvement among the group with sexual concerns, with 63.6% of children no longer displaying clinically significant sexual concerns at post-treatment. In addition, these children showed a decline in general externalizing problems comparable to that observed among the group of children receiving PCIT and not displaying sexual concerns. Lastly, logistic regression analyses showed that pre-treatment posttraumatic stress scores did not moderate improvement of sexual concerns, suggesting that posttraumatic stress-related sexual concerns may improve from PCIT treatment. These findings suggest that evidence-based parent training interventions, specifically PCIT, may successfully reduce sexual concerns among children who experienced maltreatment.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Psychiatry and Mental health