Building a framework to prevent and respond to young people with disability who use violence at home
Adolescent violence in the home (AVITH), also known as adolescent family violence (AFV), has emerged as a critical issue of concern in Australia.
While there has been increasing evidence of the significant intersection between disability and AVITH, this project is the first to move beyond merely documenting disability as an individual-level risk factor for AVITH to paying close attention to the context in which these behaviours arise.
By taking this more nuanced approach, this study has found new information about better ways services can support families experiencing AVITH.
This qualitative research aimed to generate new knowledge about the intersection of AVITH and disability. The research drew on in-depth semi-structured interviews with family members of young people with disability and practitioners who work directly with young people with disability using violence at home. A socio-ecological lens was used to examine the contextual factors and processes that may be associated with AVITH and young people with disability at the individual, relationship, community and societal levels.
The project used two primary methods:
- Conceptual review of the literature drawing on different disciplines to identify key concepts in understanding the intersections of gender, disability and AVITH.
- In-depth qualitative enquiry with parents of young people with disability and practitioners working with young people with disability using violence at home.
Initial plans to speak with young people with disability themselves were reconsidered in response to Covid-19 lockdowns across Victoria. The research team acknowledges that the voices of young people remain missing from this field and will pursue avenues to centre their lived experiences in future research projects.
This research, although small in scale and exploratory in nature, is the first that specifically examines the intersection of AVITH and disability from the perspective of mothers as family members who experience violence at home and practitioners who work with young people with disability. It adds to a growing body of evidence about the significant detrimental impacts for children, young people, women and families when research, policy and practice in disability and violence prevention and response remain “siloed”. This project adds to the voices calling for urgent action.
The study is part of a larger body of work funded by ANROWS focused on the experiences and impacts of domestic and family violence (DFV). Other projects include work on the DFV experiences of children with disability, the connections between DFV and mental health issues among children, the connections between adverse childhood experiences (ACES) and sexually harmful behaviours and offences among boys and young men, and strengthening service responses for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and women.
Toward a socio-ecological understanding of adolescent violence in the home by young people with disability: A conceptual reviewView more
A socio-ecological exploration of adolescent violence in the home and young people with disability: The perceptions of mothers and practitionersView more
Associate Professor Georgina Sutherland, Deputy Head, Disability and Health Unit, Centre for Health Equity, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, University of Melbourne
Dr Mediya Rangi, Research Fellow, Disability and Health Unit, Centre for Health Equity, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, University of Melbourne
Dr Tania King, ARC DECRA & Dame Kate Campbell Senior Research Fellow, Disability and Health Unit, Centre for Health Equity, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, University of Melbourne
Professor Emerita Gwynnyth Llewellyn, Disability and Inequity Stream Leader of Centre for Disability Research and Policy, University of Sydney; Co-Director of NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence Disability and Health
Professor Anne Kavanagh, Chair of Disability and Health Unit, Centre for Health Equity, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, University of Melbourne; Co-Director of NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence Disability and Health
Associate Professor Cathy Vaughan, Co-Director of Centre for Health Equity; Head of Gender and Women’s Health Unit; Director of WHO Collaborating Centre for Women’s Health, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, University of Melbourne
This project is funded by Australian Commonwealth, state and territory governments under ANROWS’s 2020–2022 Core Grant round.
“I’ve told this story so many times”: Research sheds new light on the context in which young people with disability use violence in the homeFind out more
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