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Journal Article


Jones S. J. Interpers. Violence 2015; 30(8): 1299-1321.


University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, USA


(Copyright © 2015, SAGE Publishing)






When an adolescent sexually offends, it is a traumatic experience in the lives of their families. However, there is limited research about the experiences of these family members. This article presents two qualitative pilot studies that explored the experiences of eight parents and parental figures of adolescents who have sexually offended (ASOs). Both studies are presented to give a more complete description of the experience. Data were collected using a focus group and individual interviews. The purpose of Study 1 was to identify how parents of ASOs felt when they provided support to their child after his sexual offense. The overarching theme that emerged from the data was to prevent reoffending within the context of the prescribed treatment. Three main themes emerged within this process: an interactive relationship between the parent and the child, identified as being there; the parental toll; and aspirations for the child's future. Study 2 was then conducted to further explore the parental toll using an interview guide that was developed using the Trauma Outcome Process as a theoretical framework. It aimed to identify their lived experience and describe ways in which they coped with the emotional toll. Four main themes emerged: coping with the initial response, coping with feeling responsible, coping with feeling alone and overwhelmed, and benefits from participating in a family support group. These findings revealed parents' perceptions of reality while living and coping with the experience of having a child who sexually offended.

RESULTS will be used in the development of an intervention to help this population gain acceptance and cope with this experience.

Language: en


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