Treating sexually harmful teenage males: A summary of longitudinal research findings on the effectiveness of a therapeutic community

Gwyneth Boswell, Peter Wedge, Annie Moseley, Jane Dominey, Fiona Poland

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2 Citations (Scopus)


This twelve-year study evaluated the effectiveness of a therapeutic community for young men who had been abused in a range of ways, and had themselves become sexually harmful, usually to children. Each young man was interviewed on arrival at the community, at their departure two years later, and thereafter at one-year intervals. Annual findings were relayed to the community on an action research basis, with recommendations such as an extended ex-resident outreach service, being implemented. ‘Before and after’ checklists revealed significant reductions in factors such as self-harm, suicidal thoughts and depression by the end of their stay in the community. Coping mechanisms, which they had acquired as residents, allowed the majority to manage post-leaving challenges including housing, employment, and family relations. Ministry of Justice re/conviction rates proved to be low as against those of a comparison group.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)168-187
Number of pages20
JournalThe Howard Journal of Crime and Justice
Issue number1-2
Early online date28 Mar 2016
Publication statusPublished - May 2016


  • sexually harmful
  • teenage males
  • therapeutic community
  • longitudinal research

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