Janet Lyons Walker, PsyD, is a 2012 graduate of the PsyD Program in Clinical Psychology at Antioch University New England.

Dissertation Committee

  • Susan Hawes, PhD (Committee Chair)
  • David Hamolsky, PsyD (Committee Member)
  • Randall Wallace, PsyD (Committee Member)


Problem Sexual Behavior, Sex Offenders, Developmental, Adolescent, Sex-Offender Specific Treatment, Program Design, Psychology

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The sexual abuse of children often results in profound intrapersonal and interpersonal dysfunction or difficulties for the victims. In 2010, sexual assault was perpetrated upon more than 63,000 children in the United States, and in more than 35% of those incidents, adolescents were the perpetrators. Research suggests that adolescents with problem sexual behavior act from their own vulnerabilities. Understanding the developmental seeds and pathways that become etiological factors in the commission of sexual assaults against children is only one important step in a mission to protect them. The treatment that emerges from a comprehensive understanding of adaptive and maladaptive adolescent development and its behavioral expression provides a framework from which to address both the diverse and unique characteristics of these youth. This dissertation intends to contribute to the field of the treatment of adolescents with problem sexual behavior with an outpatient program design, theoretically rooted in the discipline of developmental psychopathology and aligned with the Ward & Beech Integrated Theory of Sexual Offending. A review of literature explores the discipline of developmental psychopathology, developmental neuroscience, adolescent development, and facets of the fields related to the study of problem sexual behavior, including characteristics of problem sexual behavior in adolescents, various risk factors and theories, and current treatment models. Together these foci will function as the groundwork for the program design. Implementation of the program could contribute to a reduction of recidivism for successful adolescent participants, and so also a reduction in incidences of children perpetrating assaultive, sexual acts upon other children, by providing tools to heal wounds, and promote growth, consolidation, competency and opportunities for adolescents to re-direct their developmental trajectories.