A Cognitive-Behavioural Intervention to Address Inappropriate Masturbation in a Boy with Mild Learning Disabilities


Learning Disabilities Health Services, Lever Chamber: Centre for Health, Ashburner Street, Bolton, BL2 1SQ


A minimally aversive cognitive-behavioural intervention was found to eliminate the inappropriate masturbation of an 11-year-old boy with mild learning disabilities. Intervention strategies included discussion and education surrounding appropriate masturbatory behaviour, imagery and distraction techniques and positive reinforcement via parental involvement. Improvements were maintained at one-month and 12-month follow-ups. The discussion focuses on a number of ethical issues raised by this intervention.