Title

Short research report: A brief report of the characteristics of adolescents with identified sexually abusive behaviours referred to a forensic child and youth mental health service

Date of this Version

1-1-2013

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Details

Citation only

Withington, T., Ogilvie, J. & Watt, B. (2013). Short research report: A brief report of the characteristics of adolescents with identified sexually abusive behaviours referred to a forensic child and youth mental health service. Sexual Abuse in Australia and New Zealand: An Interdisciplinary Journal, 5(1), 40-44.

Access the journal

© Copyright, ANZATSA , 2013

2013 HERDC Submission. FoR code: 110300

ISSN

1833-8488

Abstract

The current study explored individual, family and environmental characteristics of adolescents exhibiting sexually abusive behaviours referred to a child and youth forensic mental health service in Queensland Client files were coded for mental health disorders, features of sexual behaviour and psychosocial circumstances. Results were comparable to international studies of the characteristics of adolescents who engage in sexually abusive behaviour, with a wide range of problems not specifically related to sex offending identified. Characteristics of the sample included high rates of removal from the family, physical and emotional abuse, learning and language difficulties, and social deficits. It was suggested that the sample might represent an early developmental stage in the pathway of sex offending, highlighting a unique opportunity to intervene and reduce the risk of both sexual and nonsexual recidivism. Longitudinal study of this population may assist to increase knowledge of factors influencing the development, prevention and treatment of sexually abusive behaviours in adolescents.

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This document has been peer reviewed.