UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Developing an assessment protocol for sexually abused adolescents in treatment programs : a single case study of the process Kastens, Ingrid


This thesis evolved as part of a practice-thesis combination option for the completion of the degree of Master in Social Work. The purpose of combining research with practice was to allow for a learning experience in each area. Both the practice and research were conducted within Nisha Children's Society. (Nisha Society is a non-profit organization dedicated to the provision of high quality professional treatment and counselling services for adolescents and families. See Appendix A for a more detailed de script ion.) The major work of the thesis focused on developing a practical and useful assessment process designed to give a better picture of sexually abused adolescents who end up in treatment programs. Not a great deal is known about which sexually abused adolescents will require intensive treatment programs, and which ones will not. It is of concern that the professional community does not have a good picture of who the sexually abused adolescents who have serious emotional and behavioural problems really are in terms of socio-demographics, developmental status, and emotional health. A need exists to clarify which instruments would provide the most crucial information. There is also a need to clarify the role of personal attributes and the role of characteristics of the environment as they both impact on the stress-coping and resiliency attributes of adolescents in treatment. In order to effectively counsel or plan for sexually abused adolescents, we need to better understand sexual abuse as one of several possible pre- and/or co-existing sources of individual stress or trauma. The assessment design used an ecological or stress-coping model of abuse framed within a normative developmental perspective. The thesis focused on developing the assessment protocol, rather than on the impact of child sexual abuse on adolescents. Thus a very large and time consuming part of the research has been the selecting of the seemingly best suited measures. The measures and framework chosen, and the rationale for these choices are described in detail within this report. The final chapters of this thesis focus on the findings of the "trial run"/single case study and the implications for social work.

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