Developing the psychosexual knowledge of two adolescents with Special Educational Needs through a psycho-educational training

Giulia Vinciguerra, Silvia Iacomini, Eleonora Villani, Vanessa Artoni, Francesca Cavallini


Background: The purpose of this study was to assess the efficacy of an intervention on sexual and relational knowledge in adolescents with special educational needs (SEN) and their families. This training is intended to provide assistance and support in addressing the difficulties that adolescents with SEN may face when it comes to psychosexual functioning, while also increasing their knowledge and skills on the subject.
Methods: The study included two girls with Mild Intellectual Disability (DSM-5; APA, 2013), aged 14 and 15 years old, respectively. Both participants spent six hours per week at a learning center in Northern Italy. In this study, the dependent variable was psychosexual knowledge, as measured by responses to an ad hoc created questionnaire. The independent variable was the psycho-education training, which consisted of 14 sessions in which the psychologist trained the participants about sexuality and relationships.
Results: The results show that both participants gained more psychosexual and relational knowledge as result of their participation in the training program.
Conclusions: The current study supports the need for young people with intellectual disabilities to be educated and demonstrates the value of sexual and relationship education for adolescents and parents.

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