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Social disorganization and history of child sexual abuse against girls in Sub-Saharan Africa: A multilevel analysis
Mid Sweden University, Sundsvall, Sweden, and London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, UK .
Warwick-Centre for Applied Health Research and Delivery (WCAHRD), Division of Health Sciences, Warwick Medical School, The University of Warwick, United Kingdom, and Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, International Health Group, Liverpool, Merseyside, UK .
Mid Sweden University, Sundsvall, Sweden, and Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden.
University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Occupational and Public Health Sciences. Mid Sweden University, Sundsvall, Sweden, and Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden.
2013 (English)In: BMC International Health and Human Rights, ISSN 1472-698X, Vol. 13, no 33Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]


Child sexual abuse (CSA) is a considerable public health problem. Less focus has been paid to the role of community level factors associated with CSA. The aim of this study was to examine the association between neighbourhood-level measures of social disorganization and child sexual abuse CSA.


We applied multiple multilevel logistic regression analysis on Demographic and Health Survey data for 6,351 adolescents from six countries in sub-Saharan Africa between 2006 and 2008.


The percentage of adolescents that had experienced CSA ranged from 1.04% to 5.84%. There was a significant variation in the odds of reporting CSA across the communities, suggesting 18% of the variation in CSA could be attributed to community level factors. Respondents currently employed were more likely to have reported CSA than those who were unemployed (odds ratio [OR] = 2.05, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.48 to 2.83). Respondents from communities with a high family disruption rate were 57% more likely to have reported CSA (OR=1.57, 95% CI 1.14 to 2.16).


We found that exposure to CSA was associated with high community level of family disruption, thus suggesting that neighbourhoods may indeed have significant important effects on exposure to CSA. Further studies are needed to explore pathways that connect the individual and neighbourhood levels, that is, means through which deleterious neighbourhood effects are transmitted to individuals.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 13, no 33
Keyword [en]
Childhood sexual abuse, Sub-Saharan Africa, Socio-demographic factors, Demographic and health survey, Neighborhood, Social disorganization
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-16049DOI: 10.1186/1472-698X-13-33ISI: 000322960200001ScopusID: 2-s2.0-84881039925OAI: diva2:688767
Available from: 2014-01-17 Created: 2014-01-17 Last updated: 2014-02-27Bibliographically approved

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