The Graduate Review


Adverse childhood experiences (ACE) include being exposed to or victimized by physical, emotional, or sexual abuse; if left untreated, traumas may disrupt normative biopsychosocial development. Childhood sexual abuse (CSA) is a phenomenon investigated by many researchers, however, the scientific community suspects CSA in boys is underreported. Since there are significant gender differences in CSA verbal disclosures, examining nonverbal disclosures in boys through overt, sexualized behaviors may help clinicians confirm suspected cases of CSA. Since most research investigates verbal disclosures of sexual abuse, this study will investigate nonverbal disclosure in boys between the ages of 6 through 10 using naturalistic observations in three intensive group homes (IGH) in the northeastern United States. An IGH is an out-of-home placement that aims to shelter children from their abusers and help children heal through their trauma. Since early intervention treatments are shown to be effective with children with sexual abuse backgrounds, it is important to understand how sexualized behavior indicative of children with a CSA history to reduce the impacts of trauma on healthy childhood development. Early intervention techniques are effective when treating children and adolescents with a history of CSA and ACE. This research will examine boys with suspected CSA histories between the ages of 6 through 10 in an IGH setting.

Note on the Author

I recently graduated from the Department of Counselor Education with an M.Ed. in mental health counseling. I served as the department's graduate writing fellow. This article was taken from my capstone thesis defense, which proposes a detailed research proposal. A copy of the written manuscript can be provided upon request by contacting me at matthewluz.023@gmail.com.