Clinical Psychology in Ireland

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This volume presents results from a series of empirical studies conducted in the field of child protection in Ireland. These throw light of the epidemiology of child sexual abuse, profiles of survivors and perpetrators of child sexual abuse, and their families, and important treatment-related issues. The following broad conclusions may be drawn from this research. CSA victims were predominantly preadolescent girls, but boys were also abused. CSA survivors had suffered a range of different forms of abuse leading to a variety of psychological problems. Greatest adjustment problems were shown by survivors of coercive, violent, penetrative abuse. Both individual therapy and combined individual and group therapy can alleviate some of the psychological difficulties that arise from CSA. CSA perpetrators were predominantly male, and were rarely strangers. A proportion of perpetrators were adolescents some of whom were survivors of child abuse. Adolescent CSA perpetrators had significant adjustment problems. Theoretically coherent innovative interventions for adolescent CSA perpetrators are being developed. A parent support programme, that runs in parallel to group-based treatment for adolescent CSA perpetrators holds promise as a core element of a comprehensive family-oriented programme for adolescent CSA perpetrators.


“A compilation of empirical articles on child sexual abuse in Ireland has therefore only really been possible since the late 1990s and this volume brings together the latest contributions to the Irish literature on the topic of sexual abuse to children and its consequences including the victim to offender concept. Nevertheless, the articles themselves go beyond the shores of Ireland to review research and clinical studies carried out in other parts of the world, especially Great Britain and North America. In doing so, this book provides an exceptional compilation of research work conducted by Irish academics and clinicians … As well as thoroughly reading this volume, I look forward to the future contributions from Irish authors to the Journals of Child Abuse and Neglect, Child Abuse Review, Child Care in Practice and the Irish Journal of Psychology, who kindly gave permission for the contributions to be presented in this book.” – (from the Commendatory Preface) Professor Kevin Browne, Director of the Centre for Forensic and Family Psychology, University of Birmingham, UK

“By bringing together research findings across the diverse and complex subject area of child sexual abuse, this volume challenges professionals across the spectrum to further and co-ordinated action. Child Care in Practice commends Empirical Studies of Child Sexual Abuse‚ to its multidisciplinary readership and to all those who can help to address the issues for abused children and for perpetrators.” – Lynne Peyton, Chair, Editorial Board, Child Care in Practice

"This volume brings together various previously published articles describing work by Irish authors. Each chapter contains a thorough analysis of the issues identified in its title, and the areas covered by the chapters address a broad range of relevant topics. It is unusual, but remarkably valuable, to see a book that targets both offender and victim issues, and that addresses these issues in an empirical way. The editors and the authors of each chapter are to be congratulated on producing such an excellent volume. Although the book describes studies done in Ireland, and testifies to the excellent work being done there, the content will be relevant to all who deal with this serious problem wherever they live and work.I strongly recommend this book to all those who are faced with either child sexual abuse victims or their offenders. It will provide clinicians, child care workers, and those who work in the criminal justice system with a broad perspective not only of the issues directly relevant to their own work, but also information to which they might not otherwise have access." - Professor Bill Marshall, Queen's University Kingston, Ontario, Canada

Table of Contents

1. Introduction – Alan Carr & Gary O’Reilly
2. Prevalence of CSA in Ireland – Alan Carr & Gary O’Reilly
3. Profiles of cases referred for CSA assessment – Beth O’Riordan, Alan Carr & Rhonda Turner
4. Profiles of subgroups of cases referred for CSA assessment – Margretta Nolan, Anne O’Flaherty, Rhonda Turner, Kay Keary, Carol Fitzpatrick & Alan Carr
5. A comparison of two CSA treatment programmes – Margretta Nolan, Alan Carr, Anne O’Flaherty, Carol Fitzpatrick, Rhonda Turner, Kay Keary, Deirdre O’Shea, Patricia Smyth & Genevieve Tobin
6. Profiles of adolescent perpetrators of CSA – Maria O'Halloran, Alan Carr, Gary O'Reilly, Declan Sheerin, Joan Cherry, Rhonda Turner, Richard Beckett & Sarah Brown
7. Profiles of parents of adolescent perpetrators of CSA – Yvonne Duane, Alan Carr, Joan Cherry, Kieran McGrath & Deirdre O’Shea
8. Enhancing motivation to change in adolescent perpetrators of CSA – Gary O’ Reilly, Tony Morrison, Declan Sheerin & Alan Carr
9. Supporting parents of adolescent perpetrators of CSA – Yvonne Duane, Alan Carr, Joan Cherry, Kieran McGrath & Deirdre O’Shea

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