Tougas AM, Tourigny M, *Boisvert I, Lemieux A, Tremblay C, Gagnon MM. (2016). The role of maltreatment in predicting symptom change among children participating in an intervention program for their sexual behavior problems. Revue de psychoéducation. 45(1): 149-172.
Child maltreatment, including sexual abuse, is among the factors associated with the development of sexual behavior problems (SBPs). Theoretical and empirical knowledge is putting greater emphasis on these factors in order to achieve a better understanding of the symptom change during treatment. The purpose of this study is to verify if the presence of maltreatment, whether experienced by the child or by his or her parent, can help predict the symptom change of children participating in the Intervention program for children displaying sexual behavior problems, which aims to reduce SBPs through the acquisition of personal, social, and family skills. In general, the results of this study indicate that the presence of maltreatment is not linked to the evolution of behavioral problems in children during treatment. However, the study also reveals the presence of predictive factors within specific intervention targets that point towards more positive results where maltreatment has been experienced by the children and mixed results where maltreatment has been experienced by a parent. If the Intervention Program appears to be entirely appropriate for its intended clientele, the results of this study indicate that certain changes should be considered to further take into account the needs of participating parents. As is the case for many studies in this field of research, this study has certain limitations, among them the small size of the sample and missing data. These limitations are to be taken into account when interpreting this study’s results.