Sibling sexual abuse: Protocol for a scoping review with two stage analysis

Peter Yates, Eve Mullins, Catriona Connell, Theresa Jung

Research output: Other contribution

Abstract / Description of output

Sibling sexual abuse is likely to be the most common form of intra-familial sexual abuse, estimated to be up to three times as common as sexual abuse by a parent (Krienert & Walsh, 2011; Stroebel et al., 2013). It is also every bit as harmful, often devastating for families, with significant long-term consequences not only for the children involved (e.g. depression, substance misuse and relationship difficulties) but also for the parents and wider family (Archer et al., 2020; Tener et al., 2018; Yates, 2017). Despite this, it remains the least studied form of intra-familial child sexual abuse (Tener et al., 2020). Many children are left unprotected and unsupported, while professional responses are often confused and confusing (Yates & Allardyce, 2021). Practitioners and policy makers therefore need rigorously conducted evidence syntheses to inform decision making in this complex practice area.

However, since a narrative review of the literature published over ten years ago (Tidefors et al., 2010) there has been only one further review limited to the analysis of 15 empirical studies (Bertele & Talmon, 2021). In order to address this lack of contemporary transparent research synthesis, we will conduct a two-stage review using recognised systematic approaches to establish what is known about sibling sexual abuse. In stage one we will conduct a scoping review of the literature, with analyses mapping the current research on sibling sexual abuse. Stage two will be informed by findings from stage one. We will conduct thorough syntheses of sub-groups of papers on different topics, following established methods appropriate to study type. These syntheses will provide in-depth summaries of what is known about particular topics to inform policy and practice. Gaps identified will inform an agenda for further research.

The protocol for this scoping review is posted here.
Original languageEnglish
Media of outputOnline
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 4 Apr 2022

Publication series

NameOpen Science Framework

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • sibling sexual abuse
  • child sexual abuse (CSA)
  • scoping review
  • literature review


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