Family Development

Sexual Behavior in Children and Youth (SBCY) Series

About This Series:

Children and youth often exhibit behaviors that are considered sexual by the adults observing them. Understanding the factors associated with normal and concerning sexual behavior is important when preparing professionals and caregivers with the best practices to keep children safe and thriving during childhood and youth.

This series addresses normal sexual behavior in children in addition to exploring cautionary and problematic sexual behavior (PSB) that children may display. Various factors associated with children’s sexual behavior are identified in order to assist clinicians in understanding the appropriate assessment and disclosure processes involved when problematic symptoms are present.

New Course Series 

Problematic Sexual Behavior of Children and Youth (PSB-CY): Clinical Assessment and Treatment course series now available! Visit the course series homepage for the list of courses and sign up for our mailing list to stay updated.


We’ve produced webinars to address different topic areas related to sexual behavior in children and youth. Each is free to attend, available for replay viewing, and offers continuing education credit and certificate of attendance options.


Overview of Sexual Behavior in Children and Youth

image of family with two young toddlers walking down sidewalkProblematic Sexual Behavior: The Importance of a Multidisciplinary Evidence-Based Approach: This webinar focuses on increasing the knowledge base of all multidisciplinary team members on PSB. Focus is placed on disseminating information regarding the continuum of sexual behaviors, dispelling myths about children with PSB, and instilling hope in treating this population.

Image of child holding teddy bearSexualized Behaviors in Children & Youth: This webinar reviews normal, concerning, and problematic sexual behaviors that children may display. Various factors associated with children’s sexual behaviors are identified to assist clinicians in understanding the appropriate assessment and disclosure processes involved when problematic symptoms are present.

Image of young boy riding bike down gravel laneFrom Hysteria to Hope: Bringing Reason to Sexual Abuse in Childhood: In this webinar, Dr. Letourneau informs participants of how problematic and/or illegal sexual behavior in childhood can be framed as a preventable public health problem.  

image of woman sitting at table on her laptop waving at webcamEngaging Families in Clinical Services: A Discussion on Engagement in Family Advocacy Settings: This webinar focuses on factors impacting engagement for families in clinical services. The research of McKay et al. related to caregiver participation is discussed and applied to the family advocacy setting.

Developmental Stages

image of woman sitting with young boy and playing with toys together and young sister standing beside the,Understanding Children’s Sexual Knowledge and  Behavior from a Developmental Perspective: This webinar covers typical social, emotional, cognitive, and moral development in preschool (age 5 and under) and school-age (age 6 to 12) children and how development across these domains informs expected sexual knowledge and behavior. Typical sexual knowledge and behavior within these age ranges are discussed.

Image of young adolescence balancing on a rail along a riverConsidering the Adolescent Brain when Addressing Problematic Sexual Behavior of Youth: This session discusses adolescent social, emotional, cognitive, and moral development. Normative sexual development of teens ages 13 to 18 are addressed. Protective factors are discussed and emphasized as possible strategies for supporting healthy behavior.

Cultural Responsiveness

image of military mom hugging and holding up smiling young boyCulturally Competent Responses to Youth with Problematic Sexual Behavior: This presentation reviews the influences of culture and ethnic diversity on families and youth impacted by PSB. The presenter also explores how a balanced response contributes to the ultimate goal of understanding and healing.

Juvenile Justice and Court Response

image of hand holding gavelJuvenile Justice Responses to Youth with Problematic Sexual Behavior: This webinar provides an introduction to the juvenile justice system and the juvenile court. Information regarding processing juvenile cases, court hearings, roles and responsibilities, and restoration and rehabilitation for juveniles are presented. 

Directions in Prevention and Treatment

Middle School kids in hallwayPreventing the Onset of Youth Problem Sexual Behaviors: This webinar demonstrates how a school-based universal prevention program, Responsible Behavior with Younger Children, from the Moore Center for the Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, may be used to prevent PSB directed towards younger children and their peers.

image of young child playing with toy blocksOverview of Treatment for Children Impacted by Problematic Sexual Behavior of Other Youth: This session provides an overview of treatment for caregivers and children impacted by the PSB of other youth using a Trauma-focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) framework. Information and qualities of evidence-based treatment for the family are also addressed.

Impacts of Technology

image of youth holding gaming controllerTalking with Youth about Sex, Sexuality, and Media: Participants learn how to help and prepare children and youth to practice better decision-making in regards to their bodies and the bodies of others. Best practices for having substantial conversations on understanding pornography, sex, and sexuality are discussed.

young girl holding phone up to faceModeling Healthy Technology Behaviors for Young Children: An overview of the importance for parents and caregivers to model healthy boundaries with technology for healthy child social-emotional development is presented. This session also explains how to support parents and other adults in setting appropriate examples in their use of technology.

Image of teens holding smart phonesSupporting Youth to Set Healthy Boundaries with Technology: This webinar engages professionals on the use of technology amongst adolescents, how technology is used to harm, and what caring adults can do to educate and empower youth in their lives to take action to end technology-facilitated abuse. 

Continuing Education Credits 

This series provides free continuing education credit opportunities for participants. Click the links above for accreditation details and to find additional session resources, links, and materials!


Listen to our conversation with a topic expert and our discussions on foundational strategies that you can apply to your work.

Blog Posts

Read our blog post discussing the evolution of our SBCY series!

External Resources

For more resources for your work and service provision in this topic area, visit the below websites.

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“I am extremely grateful to be learning about this topic more in-depth as I am tasked to provide supportive services to these families and I feel less than prepared, but this series will change that significantly.”

– Response from Engaging Families in Clinical Services: A Discussion on Engagement in Family Advocacy Settings Webinar Evaluation

This material is based upon work supported by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the Office of Military Family Readiness Policy, U.S. Department of Defense under Award Number 2019-48770-30366 and Grant #2016-MU-MU-K053 awarded by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, Office of Justice (OJJDP) Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. The opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this publication/program/exhibition are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of the Department of Defense or Department of Justice.