The objective was to study the prevalence of childhood sexual abuse (CSA) among the mothers of children in Greenland and its association with the psychosocial adjustment of their children.
The study was based on a 2007-2008 survey of a national sample of children in Greenland designed by researchers at SFI - The Danish National Centre for Social Research in collaboration with the Greenlandic Home Rule. The survey was conducted via telephone interviews with the children's mothers.
The relationship between the mothers' childhood sexual abuse and their children's psychosocial adjustment was examined using OLS regression. Each mother's CSA was measured by a direct question and the child's psychosocial adjustment was measured by the total difficulties score on the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire.
Thirty-six percent of the mothers reported having been sexually abused as children. The psychosocial adjustment of the children in the sample overall was good, with few children scoring on the upper end of the scale, indicating maladjustment. A strong inverse relationship between the mothers' childhood sexual abuse and the children's adjustment was found after controlling for demographic and socio-economic factors.
Overall, children of mothers who were victims of CSA suffer from greater psychosocial maladjustment than children whose mothers were not victims of CSA.