Interventions That Foster Healing Among Sexually Exploited Children and Adolescents: A Systematic Review

Moynihan, M.,
Pitcher, C.,
Saewyc, E.
Journal Article
Year Published: 2018
Journal Name: 
Journal of Child Sexual Abuse
Volume: 27

Issue: 4

This journal article describes a systematic review of the literature on the effectiveness of interventions for sexually exploited children and adolescents in fostering healing with this population. The researchers conducted a systematic search that generated 4,358 international publications of which 21 met their inclusion criteria. Based on each intervention’s objectives and delivery method, the researchers organized the programs into five categories: 1) focused health and/or social services, 2) intensive case management models, 3) psychoeducational therapy groups, 4) residential programs, and 5) other. Their review found that most programs were gender-specific, targeting girls and young women with only one designed for boys and young men. The reviewed studies reported on a range of outcomes including psychosocial outcomes, risky behaviors, trauma responses, mental health, protective factors, and public health outcomes. Despite differences in delivery, most of the interventions did, to some degree, appear to foster healing among sexually exploited children and adolescents. The researchers maintain that the findings from this review have implications for researchers, policy and program developers, and frontline practitioners who can partner together to create evidence-informed, purpose-built, and thoughtfully delivered interventions. (author abstract modified)


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