Prevalence and predictors of adolescent violent behaviour: A comparison of students in Victoria, Australia and Washington State, United States
Community concern about violence in young people is growing. Children and young people are overrepresented as both the perpetrators and victims of violence. Violence is recognised by the World Health Organisation as a serious public health issue. Understanding the factors that influence the development of violence in young people and identifying prevention and early intervention approaches appropriate for the Australian context is crucial. This presentation will summarise recent findings from analyses of data from the International Youth Development Study (IYDS). The IYDS began in 2002 as a longitudinal study of almost 6,000 students recruited in Years 5, 7 and 9 in Victoria, Australia and Washington State, USA. Comprehensive measures of the many factors that influence student behaviour have been collected, as well as measures of violence. These findings show that the factors that influence violent behaviour are similar in the two sites. In general, rates of violent behaviour are similar in the two states. The implications of these findings for prevention and early intervention programs are discussed.
Associate Professor Sheryl Hemphill is a researcher at the Centre for Adolescent Health, Department of Paediatrics at the University of Melbourne, Murdoch Children’s Institute and Melbourne’s Royal Children’s Hospital. Her research focuses on the prevention of violence and crime in young people and she leads the Centre’s research in this area. She is particularly interested in schools and communities as contexts for prevention, including the impact of school policies such as the use of suspension on student outcomes. Sheryl has a PhD in psychology and is a member of the Australian Psychological Society’s College of Health Psychologists.