Integrating Trauma Informed Care into the Treatment of Adult Male Sex Offenders: A Systematic Review


Social Work

Date of Paper/Work


Degree Name

Master of Social Work (M.S.W.)

Type of Paper/Work

Clinical research paper


Belle Khuu


Physical, sexual, or emotional childhood trauma increases the risk for violence, aggression, and criminality in adulthood (Wolff & Shi, 2012). While not all children who experience childhood trauma go on to commit sexual offenses, the research highlights the fact that a large majority of the individuals who commit sexual offenses have experienced some form of childhood trauma (Dutton & Hart, 1992; Levenson, 2014; Wolff & Shi, 2012). The purpose of this study was to explore the relevance of integrating trauma-informed care in the treatment of adult men participating in evidence-based sex offender treatment programs. This systematic review collected data pertaining to trauma-informed care and the treatment of adult male sex offenders. Of the data reviewed, ten articles met the final search criteria for study inclusion. Three notable themes emerged from the research analysis in regard to integrating trauma-informed care as it relates to adult male sex offender treatment. These themes include 1) Attachment style correlates with sexual offending; 2) Unresolved childhood trauma negatively impacts treatment outcomes; and 3) Adverse childhood experiences correlate with perpetration of sexual offending. Results of this review conclude that integrating trauma-informed care in the treatment of adult male sex offenders has significant relevance. Further research in the area of integrating trauma-informed care as it specifically relates to this population would be beneficial to effective service delivery for the treatment of adult male sex offenders.


trauma informed care, adult male sex offender

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.