Encyclopedia of Couple and Family Therapy

2019 Edition
| Editors: Jay L. Lebow, Anthony L. Chambers, Douglas C. Breunlin

Child Sexual Abuse in Couple and Family Therapy

  • Katherine HertleinEmail author
  • Brittany Donaldson
  • Nicole Walker
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-49425-8_443

Synonyms

Incest; Molestation; Pedophilia; Sexual Assault

Introduction

Child sexual abuse is a critically important problem in clinical practice. The prevalence of child sexual abuse ranges from study to study, from 0.7% to 17% for men and from 1.8% to 31% for women (Laaksonen et al. 2011; Pereda et al. 2009), with that number being higher in clinical populations. It is a phenomenon that occurs in all cultures and across all socioeconomic statuses. A decline in the prevalence of child sexual abuse in some cultures has been observed in conjunction with a decline in the risk factors, suggesting that the risk factors associated with childhood sexual abuse have a demonstrable impact on its prevalence.

Theoretical Context

Treating the trauma and physiological effects experienced by children of abuse requires a long-term therapeutic framework. Because the treatments tend to be long-term, the theoretical constructs behind the treatments are designed to address multiple areas of the child’s...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

References

  1. Finkelhor, D., & Browne, A. (1985). The traumatic impact of child sexual abuse: A conceptualization. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 55(4), 530–541.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Gil, E. (1991). The treatment of abused children. In The healing power of play (pp. 37–82). New York: Guilford.Google Scholar
  3. Laaksonen, T., Sariola, H., Johansson, A., Jern, P., Varjonen, M., von der Pahlen, B., … Santtila, P. (2011). Changes in the prevalence of child sexual abuse, its risk factors, and their associations as a function of age cohort in a Finnish population sample. Child Abuse and Neglect, 35(7), 480–490.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chiabu.2011.03.004.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Malhotra, S., & Biswas, P. (2006). Behavioral and psychological assessment of child sexual abuse in clinical practice. International Journal of Behavioral Consultation and Therapy, 2(1), 17–28.  https://doi.org/10.1037/h0100764.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Pereda, N., Guilera, G., Forns, M., & Gómez-Benito, J. (2009). The prevalence of child sexual abuse in community and student samples: A meta-analysis. Clinical Psychology Review, 29(4), 328–338.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cpr.2009.02.007.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Katherine Hertlein
    • 1
    Email author
  • Brittany Donaldson
    • 1
  • Nicole Walker
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Nevada – Las VegasLas VegasUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Farrah Hughes
    • 1
  1. 1.Employee Assistance ProgramMcLeod HealthFlorenceUSA