BackgroundProfound socio-cultural changes in Grenland during the last 70 years have resulted in radicalchanges in the health and well-being of the population. Suicide rates and mental health problemshave been rising, particularly among the young part of the Greenland Inuit. Previous researchhas found that protective factors for mental health in the Arctic often are linked to traditionalactivities and Inuit culture. Yet, most previous research has been assessing the youth in general,and more knowledge is needed, on how the youth and young adults in Greenland differ.
Design and MethodsThis thesis was made as a cross-sectional study with data from the Greenland Health Survey2018 and included 658 respondents between 15-34 years. The thesis sought to investigatehow conditions in upbringing characterise Greenlandic youth and young adults with differentnegative and positive mental health outcomes. This was done by latent class analysis with distalvariables.
ResultsFour subgroups of youth and young adults were identified based on conditions in upbringing.Class 1 (n=178, 27%) and Class 2 (n=164, 25%) were both characterised by a relatively lowprobability of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) during upbringing and a high probabilityof having grown up with strong ties to Inuit culture. These classes had the lowest probability ofnegative mental health outcomes. Class 3 (n= 224, 34 %) grew up with the highest probabilityof having experienced ACEs during upbringing and the highest probability of negative mentalhealth. Class 4 (n= 92, 14 %) had the lowest probability of having grown up with strong ties toInuit culture and the second-highest probability of an upbringing with ACEs.
ConclusionIndividuals growing up with the combination of an absence of ACEs and with strong ties toInuit culture have the best mental health outcomes. This combination fosters good mental healthindependent of whether the individuals grew up in a settlement or town and independent ofDanish language proficiency. Individuals growing up with ACEs have the poorest mental healthoutcomes. A significant proportion of the youth and young adults in Greenland have ACEs, andthe ACEs investigated often co-occur.