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


Incest; Molestation; Pedophilia; Sexual Assault


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...

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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