• childhood sexual abuse;
  • sense of coherence;
  • SOC scale;
  • self-help group

Women with a history of childhood sexual abuse experience a range of difficulties. The aim of the present study is to examine the personal resources of women with such a history measured using the SOC scale. The relationships of SOC to other factors were analysed. Eighty-one women who participated in self-help groups were questioned using the 29-item version of the SOC scale. The SOC mean score for the whole group was 104.1 (range 58–187). The women who had a more than ten-year duration of sexual abuse had a low SOC score (M = 96.8) but those who did not remember the number of years of duration had an even lower score (M = 94.4). In a first step of multiple regression analysis of childhood sexual abuse characteristics and SOC total score, only duration of sexual abuse was entered and accounted for 10.3 per cent of the variance. In a second step of multiple regression analysis, relationship to fellow workers was a significant predictor of SOC and contributed to 31.7 per cent of the variance.