Psychology, Department of


Date of this Version



Journal of Child Sexual Abuse 23:3 (2014), pp. 304–325.

doi: 10.1080/10538712.2014.888121


Copyright © 2014 Taylor & Francis Group. Used by permission.


The present study examines initial symptom presentation among participants, outcomes, and social validity for a group treatment for child sexual abuse delivered at a child advocacy center. Participants were 97 children and their nonoffending caregivers who were referred to Project SAFE (Sexual Abuse Family Education), a standardized, 12-week cognitive-behavioral group treatment for families who have experienced child sexual abuse. Sixty-four percent of children presented with clinically significant symptoms on at least one measure with established clinical cutoffs. Caregivers of children who presented with clinically significant symptoms reported more distress about their competence as caregivers. Children who presented as subclinical were more likely to have experienced intrafamilial sexual abuse. Posttreatment results indicated significant improvements in functioning for all children who participated in treatment, with greater improvements reported for children who initially presented with clinically significant symptoms. Overall, the program was rated favorably on the posttreatment evaluation of social validity.

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