Practice parameters for the assessment and treatment of children and adolescents who are sexually abusive of others. American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Working Group on Quality Issues

J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 1999 Dec;38(12 Suppl):55S-76S. doi: 10.1016/s0890-8567(99)80004-5.


The assessment and treatment of children and adolescents with sexually abusive behavior requires an understanding of normal sexual development. A multiplicity of biological and psychosocial factors determines the child's sexual development, gender role, sexual orientation, patterns of sexual arousal, sexual cognitions, sexual socialization, and the integration of sexual and aggressive patterns of behavior. The individual's sexuality evolves in concert and as a result of interaction with family, ethnic, social, and cultural influences. These parameters summarize what we know about the epidemiology and phenomenology of sexually abusive youths and provide guidelines for the assessment and the selection of treatment interventions for these youths. Essential considerations in the assessment and treatment of sexually abusive youths, as well as the different categories of sexually abusive youths which should be recognized and which influence treatment decisions, are presented. The spectrum of currently available psychosocial and biological treatments will be summarized.

Publication types

  • Guideline
  • Practice Guideline
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Behavior Therapy
  • Child
  • Child Abuse, Sexual / prevention & control
  • Child Abuse, Sexual / psychology*
  • Child Behavior Disorders / prevention & control
  • Child Behavior Disorders / psychology*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Psychosexual Development*
  • Psychotherapy*
  • Sexual Behavior / psychology