Significance of the Problem
According to the AACAP (2011) children who have experienced CSA are often devastated by the lasting mental and emotion affects (p. 1). Children who have suffered this type of abuse often suffer effects of it throughout their lives (AACAP, 2011, p. 1). The AACAP (2011) explains this can manifest as depression, self-esteem issues, and/or anxiety (p. 1-2). Many children suffer from sleep disturbances which can lead to additional mental health issues (AACAP, 2011). Dietz et al. (2012) explain it is imperative to access treatment immediately for CSA victims to minimize additional harm to children that could continue into adulthood (p. 679). The AACAP (2011) agrees ...view middle of the document...
There are a great number of variables affecting the treatment of childhood sexual abuse. Just as no two children are the same, no two CSA experiences are the same. Some children have stronger support or better self-esteem while others may have complicating factors such as mental health issues. By identifying various effective treatments, it may be possible to select a treatment that is best suited to the child and his or her circumstances. The first focus of this research project will be on identifying effective treatment options for child victims of sexual abuse.
• What are effective treatments for victims of child sexual abuse?
It is important to also ascertain differences in treatment options depending on the age of the victim. Children of different ages are at varying levels of development and have different cognitive abilities that may impact treatment options for them. Children must be able to access treatment that is cognitively and emotionally suited to them.
• How does the age of the victim affect treatment options?
As stated before, children are affected differently by sexual abuse. Some display socially unaccepted behaviors that cause additional problems for the child. These behaviors can range from bedwetting to acting out sexually inappropriate behaviors in public. It is important to determine what treatment options are most effective for reduction of these behaviors.
• What treatment is best suited for the reduction of behaviors?
According to Finkelhor et al. (2008), approximately 320,400 children were victims of some form sexual abuse in 1999 or 4 in 1,000 children (p. 2, p. 5). Finkelhor et al. (2008) studied the data from the NISMART–2 with regards to sexually abused children (p. 1). Through this investigation, Finkelhor et al. (2008) were able to provide valuable information regarding the approximate number of victims and shared characteristics of these children (p. 2).
The data, collected by NISMART–2, was collected for the entire year of 1999 through phone surveys of abused children and their caretakers (Finkelhor et al., 2008, p. 1-3). The sample this study looks at is representative of children on a national level (Finkelhor et al., 2008, p. 3). According to Finkelhor et al. (2008), 16,111 adults and 5,015 children participated in the interviews (p. 4). First the adults were interviewed and then asked for permission to interview one child, over age 10, in their care, not all adults granted permission for this (Finkelhor et al., 2008, p. 4). Care was taken to ensure that the incident was not duplicated in the data if both the adult and child participated and disclosed the same abuse (Finkelhor et al., 2008, p. 4).
Finkelhor et al. (2008) found that predominately the victims tended to be female between the ages of 12 and 17 and their perpetrators were overwhelming male (p. 5). The percentage of Anglo and African-American victims were equivalent to their...