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Type: Theses
Title: Lateral violence within the Aboriginal community in Adelaide, South Australia: from dilemmas to strategies
Author: Clark, Yvonne
Issue Date: 2017
School/Discipline: School of Psychology
Abstract: This thesis critically examines the concept of lateral violence in the Aboriginal community in Adelaide, South Australia. Lateral violence describes how members of oppressed groups direct their dissatisfaction inward, toward themselves and those less powerful within their community. Lateral violence is believed to be an issue within Indigenous communities in Australia; however there is limited research to verify this as lateral violence is a relatively under researched area. Moreover, this term has been applied to Indigenous communities in Australia with little consultation. This research draws on theories of oppression, racism, stigma, social representation, coping, and identity to critically analyse and evaluate the concept of lateral violence (see chapter 1). In order to understand lateral violence in the local South Australian context and listen to Aboriginal people’s voices on the topic, two studies were conducted for this research utilising an Indigenous methodology as a guiding framework with a mixed methods approach combining quantitative and qualitative methods (see chapter 2). Study 1 draws primarily on interviews with 30 local Aboriginal participants examining their understandings and ideas about lateral violence. Prior to the interviews most participants (n=21) completed two wellbeing scales. These were the Kessler-5 (K-5) which measured levels of psychological distress over the preceding four weeks, and the Negative Life Events scales (NLES) which measured the levels of negative stressors for a person over the previous 12 months. These scales were utilised to gain insight into participants’ wellbeing and association with experiences of lateral violence. A thematic analysis was utilised to draw out participants’ themes on lateral violence. The results from the wellbeing scales indicated that overall participants were moderately distressed with just under a third (29%) scoring in the high to very high category of psychological distress. Those who scored high on psychological distress corresponded with a high number of life stressors. Further, many participants with high distress levels relayed traumatic and distressing extracts of lateral violence and were exposed to a number of negative life events. Interviews with participants identified 16 overall themes that were drawn upon when talking about lateral violence. This can be grouped into three broad recurring themes that included: perceptions and labelling of lateral violence; detrimental effects of lateral violence; and coping strategies and prevention of lateral violence. These broad themes correspond to chapters 3, 4 and 5 respectively. Study 2 was an evaluation of six preventing lateral violence workshops conducted in five organisations, predominantly in Adelaide from March to June 2014. The evaluation incorporated two phases with phase 1 utilising a quantitative pre, post and three-months post survey with 72 participants attending the workshops. The quantitative questionnaires were analysed utilising SPSS with descriptive and non-parametric statistics. The results for the survey demonstrated a significant increase and/ or maintenance of participants’ knowledge, understanding, and prevention strategies for lateral violence. In phase 2 of the study, follow-up qualitative interviews were conducted with seven participants three months after the workshop. Thematic analysis identified five recurring themes in the interviews in relation to improvements to workshops and strategies to prevent lateral violence. Study 2 incorporates chapters 6 and 7. It is hoped that by increasing awareness of lateral violence and its effects, this research will contribute to the prevention and reduction of the incidence of lateral violence within Indigenous communities in Adelaide and elsewhere in Australia. Given that many participants drew on a number of coping strategies to deal with lateral violence, it is anticipated that such information will benefit individuals, community, governments and funding agencies to support future research, education and community services in order for Aboriginal people to heal and to prevent lateral violence.
Advisor: Augoustinos, Martha
Malin, Merridy
Dissertation Note: Thesis (Ph.D.) (Research by Publication) -- University of Adelaide, School of Psychology, 2017
Keywords: lateral violence
Research by Publication
Provenance: This electronic version is made publicly available by the University of Adelaide in accordance with its open access policy for student theses. Copyright in this thesis remains with the author. This thesis may incorporate third party material which has been used by the author pursuant to Fair Dealing exceptions. If you are the owner of any included third party copyright material you wish to be removed from this electronic version, please complete the take down form located at:
DOI: 10.4225/55/59defd9fba33b
Appears in Collections:Research Theses

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