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What to Know about Problematic Sexual Behavior in Children and Youth (PSB-CY)

What is PSB-CY?

PSB-CY is (1) behavior that is developmentally inappropriate or (2) potentially harmful to the individual(s) impacted. However, many other factors should be considered: ages of those involved, age difference, developmental ages, impact on the child affected, frequency of the behavior, whether force or coercion is used, and is non-mutual. For more details about PSB-CY, see HERE.

How has the Army addressed PSB-CY?

Army PSB-CY efforts began in 2015. Click HERE for more information.

How does this new change affect what we do?

To effectively address cases of PSB-CY, we need to:

  1. change our thinking: from the model of incidents meeting/not meeting criteria; to one that describes the behaviors of children and youth.
  2. change our language: Exhibitor is the term for the child who has alleged to have engaged in PSB-CY. Impacted is the term for the child or children involved in the alleged incident(s). Victim and abuser [or offender] are not terms used in PSB-CY.
  3. change our assessment: be aware of the multiple processes in assessment and follow-on actions such as referrals for treatment or other outcomes.

For more information about these shifts in perspective, please click HERE.

How to Implement PSB-CY Guidance

Taking on this new role can be a challenge. Here are some resources that may be helpful in working with affected families.

What is PSB-CY and what is not

While difficult to define, there are guidelines to consider when an incident has been reported. The behavior may be classified as (1) normative, (2) cautionary, or (3) problematic. For more information and a helpful chart, please click HERE.

What steps to take when PSB-CY is reported 

FAP must evaluate the incident using the Non- Clinical Referral Tool (NCRT). If problematic, FAP activates the Multidisciplinary Team (MDT) to review the referral, address safety needs, and determine a course of action. Click HERE for more information on the process and who should be on the MDT click HERE

What is the NCRT and how to use it

The NCRT helps you evaluate incidents of PSB-CY and determine if the MDT should be engaged. Click HERE for more information on how to use the NCRT.

Other helpful resources on PSB-CY topics 

These resources provide a variety of topics and approaches to engage families of children exhibiting or impacted by PSB-CY. Some resources are about broader childhood behaviors while others are specific to PSB-CY. HERE are links to DoD-supported platforms.


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