Children and Adolescents
with Problematic Sexual Behaviors:
Lessons from Research on Resilience
Jane F. Gilgun, Ph.D., LICSW
Copyright 2010 by Jane Gilgun
Some children continue to behave in sexual ways after parents have asked them to stop and have provided them with guidelines about appropriate sexual behaviors. The sexual behaviors include sexual aggression toward other children, masturbation and exhibiting of genitals in public, and preoccupation with sexual matters that interferes with normal development. Sometimes these behaviors are responses to being sexually abused, and that they almost always indicate children use sexual behavior to cope with stress. This article shows how parents and professionals can help children learn to be
The purpose of this chapter is to show how research and theory on resilience contribute to assessment and treatment planning for children and adolescents with problematic sexual behaviors. This body of knowledge has a great deal to offer practitioners who are on the lookout for good ideas that they can use in their therapy and psychoeducation programs. Increasing numbers of programs are incorporating these ideas to the advantage of clients.