Psychology, Department of


Document Type


Date of this Version



Aggression and Violent Behavior (2011) 16: 6-19. DOI: 10.1016/j.avb.2010.10.001.


Copyright 2011, Elsevier. Used by permission.


The present meta-analysis examined the effects of psychosocial treatments at reducing deleterious outcomes of sexual abuse. The meta-analysis included a total of 35 published and unpublished studies written in English, focusing on youth under the age of 18, and evaluating the effectiveness of treatments for the most common negative outcomes of sexual abuse: PTSD symptoms, externalizing problems, and internalizing problems. Results revealed medium effect sizes for PTSD symptoms, externalizing problems, and internalizing problems following treatment for sexual abuse. This study also examined the potential moderating effects of treatment (e.g., modality, duration, and inclusion of caregiver) and participant (e.g., age, gender, and ethnicity) characteristics. Results indicated that longer interventions were associated with greater treatment gains while group and individual treatments were equally effective. These findings shed new light on treatment effectiveness and provide useful information regarding the conditions under which treatment may be most effective. Future directions for research in this area are discussed.