Research and Outcomes

The original group treatment program for children with PSB protocol was developed by Barbara Bonner, C. Eugene Walker, and Lucy Berliner. This school-age group treatment program was evaluated rigorously by comparing it to a group play therapy approach. Initial outcomes demonstrated improvements with reduced PSB and other nonsexual behavior problems (Bonner, Walker & Berliner, 1999). These youth were then followed up in administrative databases for state law enforcement, juvenile services, and child welfare. In this 10-year follow-up study, children who were randomized to the PSB-CBT group treatment were found to be no different from a clinical comparison group (i.e., children referred due to disruptive behavior problems but had no known PSB), both with very low rates of future sexual offenses detected by child welfare, juveniles services, or law enforcement (both around 2% to 3% respectively). The children randomized to the play therapy group had significantly higher rates of future problematic sexual behavior (11%) (Carpentier, Silovsky & Chaffin, 2006). In addition to this research, a small but reasonably rigorous body of PSB treatment effectiveness research has emerged, sufficient to guide recommendations (Bonner et al., 1999; Cohen & Mannarino, 1996, 1997; Pithers, Gray, Busconi & Houchens, 1998; Silovsky, Niec, Bard & Hecht, 2005; St. Amand, Bard & Silovsky, 2008). For research effectiveness and outcomes of the preschool and school-age models, visit the California Evidence Based Clearing House or the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Model Programs Guide (MPG).


    • Barry, S. & Harris, E. (2019). The Children's Programme: A Description of a Group and Family Intervention for Children Engaging in Problematic and Harmful Sexual Behavior and Their Parents/Carers. Journal of Sexual Aggression, 25(2), 193-206. https://doi.org/10.1080/13552600.2019.1589002

    • Carpentier, M. Y., 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. https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-006X.74.3.482

    • Dopp, A., Mundey, P., Silovsky, J. F., Hunter, M., & Slemaker, A. (2020).  Economic Value of Community-Based Services for Problematic Sexual Behaviors in Youth: A Mixed-Method Cost-Effectiveness Analysis. Child Abuse & Neglect, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chiabu.2019.104043

    • Jenkins, C. J., Grimm, J. R., Shier, E. K., van Dooren, S., Ciesar, E. R., & Reid-Quiñones, K. (2020). Preliminary Findings of Problematic Sexual Behavior-Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Adolescents in an Outpatient Treatment Setting. Child Abuse and Neglect, 105. https://doi.org/:10.1016/j.chiabu.2020.104428

    • Mundey, P., Slemaker, A., Dopp, A. R., Beasley, L. O., & Silovsky, J. F. (2020). Qualitative analysis of administrator, provider, and stakeholder views on the costs and benefits of a treatment for problematic sexual behavior of youth. Administration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research, 47(1), 126-137. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10488-019-00978-3

    • Shawler, P. M., Bard, M .E., Taylor, E. K., Wilsie, C., Funderburk, B., & Silovsky, J. F. (2018). Parent-Child Interaction Therapy and young children with Problematic Sexual Behavior: A conceptual overview and treatment considerations. Children and Youth Services Review, 84, 206-214. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.childyouth.2017.12.006

      • Shawler, P., Silvis, V. G., Taylor, E. K., Shields, J., Beasley, L., & Silovsky, J. F. (2020). Early Identification of Youth with Problematic Sexual Behavior: A Qualitative Study. Child Abuse and Neglect. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chiabu.2019.104317

        • Shields, J. D., Coser, A., Beasley, L. O., & Silovsky, J. F. (2020). A qualitative examination of factors impacting family engagement in treatment for youth with problematic sexual behavior. Children and Youth Services Review, 108, 104597. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.childyouth.2019.104597

          • Shields, J. D., Klinkebiel, C., Taylor, E. K., Espeleta, H. C., Beasley, L., & Silovsky, J. F. (2018). A Qualitative Analysis of Family Perspective on Treatment Services for Youth with Problematic Sexual Behavior: Enhancing Engagement. Victims and Offenders, 13(7), 955-973. https://doi.org/10.1080/15564886.2018.1506853

            • Silovsky, J. F., Hunter, M., & Taylor, E. K. (2018). Impact of early intervention for youth with problematic sexual behaviors and their caregivers. Journal of Sexual Aggression, 25(1), 4-15. https://doi.org/10.1080/13552600.2018.1507487

            • Silovsky, J. F., Niec, L., Bard, D. E., & Hecht, D. B. (2007). Treatment for Preschool Children With Interpersonal Sexual Behavior Problems: A Pilot Study. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, 36(3), 378-391. https://doi.org/10.1080/15374410701444330

            • St. Amand, A., Bard, D. E., and Silovsky, J. F. (2008).  Meta-Analysis of Treatment for Child Sexual Behavior Problems: Practice Elements and Outcomes. Child Maltreatment, 13(2), 145-166. https://doi.org/10.1177/1077559508315353

            • Taylor, E. K., Slemaker, A., and Silovsky, J. F. (2020). Professionals' Perceptions of Electronic and Online Sexual Behaviors of Youth in their Community. Children and Youth Services Review. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.childyouth.2020.104831
            • Mundey, P., Slemaker, A., Dopp, A.R., Beasley, L.O., & Silovsky, J.F. (2021).  Sustaining Treatment for Youth with Problematic Sexual Behavior: Administrative and Stakeholder Perspectives Following ImplementationThe Journal of Behavioral Health Services & Research, 48, 410-426. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11414-020-09726-0
            • Slemaker, A., Mundey, P., Taylor, E.K., Beasley, L.O., & Silovsky, J.F. (2021).  Barriers to Accessing Treatment Services: Child Victims of Youths with Problematic Sexual Behavior.  International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 18(10), 5302. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18105302
            • Taylor, E.K., Tener, D., Silovsky, J.F., & Newman, A. (2021).  Comparison of Children's Advocacy Center Responses to Harmful Sexual Behavior Among Siblings: An International Perspective Child Abuse & Neglect, 122. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chiabu.2021.105371
            • Tener, D., Marmor, A., Katz, C., Newman, A., Silovsky, J.F., Shields, J., & Taylor, E. (2021).  How Does COVID-19 Impact Intrafamilial Child Sexual Abuse? Comparison Analysis of Reports by Practitioners in Israel and the US. Child Abuse & Neglect, 116(2). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chiabu.2020.104779
            Additional Research & PSB Topics