Randomized trial of treatment for children with se...

Randomized trial of treatment for children with sexual behavior problems
Carpentier, M., Silovsky, J., & Chaffin, M. (2006). Randomized trial of treatment for children with sexual behavior problems: Ten-year follow-up. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 74, 3: 482-488.
As you are reading through the article, look for the answers to these questions. They are pretty much in order as you read the article. Each of you should attempt to answer the questions on your own, and then share your answers/observations with your other group members.
1. What is the purpose of this research (exploratory, descriptive, explanatory, application)?
2. Why did the authors of this study think it was important to conduct this research?
3. Part of this study has to do with treatment benefit. They authors say there are different approaches to treating kids with SBP. What are they?
4. The authors cite several other studies that looked at 1 to 2 year follow-ups for different types of treatment. What type of treatment appeared to be most promising in reducing sexually aggressive behaviors?
5. How did the authors find their sample population?
6. How many children with SBP were referred to the study? What was the final n for randomization (the authors don’t tell you at this point, but two treatment methods are being studied)? What were some of the reasons children were excluded?
7. This study also used a comparison group. How many children were in the comparison group? What were the variables on which they were matched? What was the most common diagnosis in this group?
8. What type of research design was used (hint: was it experimental, quasi-experimental, both)?
9. This research was longitudinal, since it tried to follow the subjects into adulthood. What type of longitudinal study was it? What is unusual about this type of longitudinal study?
10. Four different measures were used at the time the subjects were entered into the study (Table 1 on pg. 485 shows demographic and measurement score that demonstrate the similarities between the groups). What were they and what did each measure?
11. What were the two types of treatment protocols that were being tested?
12. Who administered the treatment?
13. The authors of the study said that “All sessions were videotaped and reviewed each week by the investigators to ensure adherence to the respective treatment manuals.” Why did the investigators do this? Although this is not a measurement issue, there are concerns about reliability and validity. Which reliability issue seems most like the concern the investigators had? Which threat to internal validity seems to correspond with their concern?
14. This research used data collected for the purposes of another study. What kind of data are these? How often were data collected as part of the original study?
15. The original study ran from 1992 to 1995. The authors were faced with trying to find the study participants 10 years after the end of the original study (stop and think for a minute about what a challenge that is). Where did they go to try to find out information about study participants? What types of threats can you think of that might pose real problems for this study?
16. On page 485, in the Results section, the authors state “Of the 291 cases followed…” Do you think that the authors were able actually find out information on all of these subjects? If they didn’t, do you think there was an assumption made about the level of offending (your guess is as good as mine)?
17. The authors talk about how less than 5% (13 out of 291) of study participants had one or more sex offense arrests. They also mention that 21% (61 out of 291) had non-sexual offense arrests. What kind of assumptions did they make about the remaining 217 study participants? Is that a valid assumption?
18. Something I would have liked to know is whether or not some of those who were arrested for sex offenses also were arrested for other types of crimes (there is some evidence that some sex offenders engage in all kinds of criminal behavior while others do not). It would also be helpful to know whether or not the sex crimes were against adults or against children.
19. The authors point out some weaknesses to their study. What are some that they identify? Are there others that you can identify?
20. This study raises some interesting questions regarding assumptions made about children with SBP and their future as adult sex offenders. However, do you think the authors are justified in making the claims they make, based on this study? Why or why not?

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