Sexually abused children suffering posttraumatic stress symptoms: Initial treatment outcome findings

Esther Deblinger, Julie Lippmann, Robert Steer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

409 Scopus citations


This study examined the differential effects of child or nonoffending mother participation in a cognitive behavioral intervention designed to treat posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other behavioral and emotional difficulties in school-aged sexually abused children. The 100 participating families were randomly assigned to one of three experimental treatment conditions - child only, mother only, or mother and child - or to a community control condition. Pre- and posttreatment evaluation included standardized measurement of children's behavior problems, anxiety, depression, and PTSD symptoms as well as of parenting practices. Two-by-two leastsquares analyses of covariance were used to compare outcome measures. Results indicated that mothers assigned to the experimental treatment condition described significant decreases in their children's externalizing behaviors and increases in effective parenting skills; their children reported significant reductions in depression. Children who were assigned to the experimental intervention exhibited greater reductions in PTSD symptoms than children who were not. Implications for treatment planning and further clinical research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)310-321
Number of pages12
JournalChild Maltreatment
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1996
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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