Harmful sexual behaviour in adolescents – key books…

When I meet someone who’s an expert in their field, I often ask this question: “What single book would you recommend to someone who wants an overview of this subject?”

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto/Sashkinw

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto/Sashkinw

Occasionally-when there are no experts available!-I’m asked the same question. One of the subjects that crops up more than most is harmful sexual behaviour (HSB) in children and young people…

Good reading on HSB…

This is an important area of work where reading is vital. Not least because research and practice moves on inexorably. This is a good thing – as long as we keep up with it!

Let’s start with assessment:

Assessment is key to any field of work that hopes to help people identify and resolve problem behaviour. HSB work is no different.

There are two books that I would recommend that cover assessment well and another that is broader in scope but embraces assessment issues too:

Prescott book

1. Risk Assessment of Youth Who Have sexually Abused: Theory, Controversy and Emerging strategies.

David Prescott (Editor) 2006, Wood & Barnes Publishing, Oklahoma City, OK  ISBN #1-885473-83-4

Click here for more info on Prescott (Ed.) 2006…

Jonny’s view: This is a must read work on assessment. Belying it’s name, it is a persuasive polemic on why “risk” is only one of things we need to examine before we embark on treatment. There is a refreshing emphasis on strengths and resilience, as well as discussion about actuarial assessment and dynamic risk. There is also a useful example of an assessment report. This is a North American book, so Brits and others will need to allow for this, for example there’s a chapter on civil commitment and some differences in terminology, but these are minor issues. A book well worth having.

Rich assessment book2. Juvenile Sexual Offenders: A Comprehensive Guide to Risk Evaluation

Phil Rich 2009. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ. ISBN #978-0-470-20633-1

Click here for more info on Rich 2009…

Jonny’s view: Everything you need to know about juvenile harmful sexual behaviour assessment, all in one place. Definitely one for the shelf, particularly if you are working in the field. Chapters cover topics such as: heterogeniety; protective factors; distinguishing abuse from non-abusive sexual behaviour; HSB in younger children (pre-adolescents); risk instruments; conducting the assessment interviews and writing the report. This is a truly excellent reference work as well as a handbook for practice. 

3. The Good Lives Model for Adolescents Who Sexually HarmGood lives book

Bobbie Print (Editor) 2013. Safer Society Press, Brandon, VT. ISBN #978-1-884444-94-4

Click here for more info on Print 2013…

Jonny’s view: This is not a book on assessment, per se, though it includes a chapter on it. Essentially this book outlines the G-map adaption and application of the Good Lives Model with adolescents who sexually harm – exactly what it says “on the tin.” Other than a summary of the G-map journey with the model, chapters address: good lives plans; therapeutic practice and motivating and engaging young people. As you’d expect from G-map, this is a well thought through book by well-respected authors and is refreshingly practical. Should be on the shelf of anyone whose practice is committed to strengths based, motivational approaches.

  •  Is there reading you would like recommendations on? 
  • What books have you found useful in this field?

If you have other resources that you would recommend, please add your thoughts in the comments section below or click here.

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Finally…

Obviously there are lots of other books on the market, but these are the ones I recommend for dealing with the assessment of HSB in young people.

I’ll post another time on working with sexual behaviour in young children.

If you have other resources that you would recommend, please add your thoughts in the comments section below or click here.

Need more information?…

  • NOTA is the professional affiliate organisation for professionals working in HSB in the UK
  • ATSA & ANZATSA are the NOTA sister organisations in North America and Australasia respectively…

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