Improving wellbeing and preventing lateral violence in the Aboriginal community

Investing in our young
Improving wellbeing and preventing lateral violence in the Aboriginal community
Project Status: In progress
Project administered by: The University of Adelaide

Investing in the social and emotional wellbeing of young Aboriginal people in South Australia to lead fulfilling and empowered lives is needed.

Wellbeing issues, disconnection and violence to self and others are symptoms of trauma and Aboriginal young people are particularly prone to the intergenerational effects.

Two areas of research will be undertaken to invest in young people to reduce trauma and its impacts. These are to firstly, progress existing projects such as the Healing the Past by Nurturing the Future project and the Aboriginal Families Study to better understand Aboriginal parents and the transmission of trauma and its impacts. The second initiative is to develop a research project to prevent lateral violence for young Aboriginal people to improve their wellbeing.

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Lateral violence has been defined as a form of overt and covert dissatisfaction, disruption and infighting amid members of oppressed groups. Lateral violence is a cause and consequence of trauma, is believed to be rife and potentially divides Aboriginal community members from each other.

The significance of such research is to enable community connection rather than division. It is also imperative to educate and develop resources to build relationships and decrease intergenerational transmissions of trauma and lateral violence.

Research that collaborate, educates, empowers and strengthens such connections at individual, collective and systemic levels offer opportunities for coping, healing and preventing intergenerational transmissions. Outcomes will include:

  • A qualitative analysis of parents’ responses to Aboriginal children’s difficulties, struggles, resilience and needs
  • A perinatal tool to assess and support Aboriginal parents to decrease intergenerational trauma
  • A high-quality evidence review
  • A network of support mechanisms
  • Resources to assist in reducing lateral violence and improving wellbeing

Research impact will be achieved via community and stakeholder engagement and multi-stakeholder co-design, implementation and evaluation of intervention strategies to embed practice and systems change.

Want to know more?

Visit the Preventing Lateral Violence website

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This project is funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council