Helping families following sibling sexual abuse: Opportunities to enhance research and policy responses by addressing practical challenges

Kelsey McCoy, Emily Sonnen, Akemi E. Mii, T. Zachary Huit, Katie Meidlinger, Hannah M. Coffey, Gina May, Mary Fran Flood, David J. Hansen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

While there is substantial research focused on the prevalence, outcomes, and practical challenges associated with child sexual abuse, there are limited resources specific to sibling sexual abuse (SSA). As a result of the limited literature there is inadequate empirical support for policy development to guide identification, assessment, and intervention for children and families who have experienced SSA. Thus, the purpose of this paper is to examine and address these challenges with the goal of contributing to an evidence base that can inform policy and reduce barriers to care for children and families who have experienced SSA. Concerns related to identification including definitional issues and parental knowledge and perceptions are explored, as are those related to disclosure including child and caregiver perceptions and beliefs. Barriers related to treatment are discussed, including professional and caregiver response, and relevant cultural considerations. The paper concludes with a discussion of research and potential policy solutions aimed to address the identified challenges for children and families.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number101652
JournalAggression and Violent Behavior
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

Keywords

  • Child maltreatment
  • Child sexual abuse
  • Family intervention
  • Family violence
  • Sibling sexual abuse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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