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Risk factors in adolescents’ involvement in violent behaviours

Sarah Baxendale (Child Health Promotion Research Centre, School of Exercise and Health Sciences, Edith Cowan University,
 Mount Lawley, Australia.)
Leanne Lester (Health Promotion Evaluation Unit, School of Sports Science, Exercise and Health, University of Western Australia, Crawley, Australia.)
Robyn Johnston (Child Health Promotion Research Centre, School of Exercise and Health Sciences Edith Cowan University,
Mount Lawley, Australia)
Donna Cross (Child Health Promotion Research Centre, School of Exercise and Health Sciences, Edith Cowan University,
Mount Lawley, Australia. AND Telethon Institute for Child Health Research, Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences, University of Western Australia, Subiaco, Australia.)

Journal of Aggression, Conflict and Peace Research

ISSN: 1759-6599

Article publication date: 12 January 2015

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine risk factors associated with Western Australian secondary school students’ involvement in violence-related behaviours.

Design/methodology/approach

This cross-sectional study examined data collected using an anonymous self-completion questionnaire from 542 school students aged 13-17 years. The questionnaire measured risk factors associated with being a perpetrator and/or victim of violence-related behaviours.

Findings

Gender was significantly associated with being a victim and perpetrator of violence-related behaviours. Males were significantly more likely than females to be a victim of threatening and physical violence at school, and to be a perpetrator of physical violence at school and in the community. Males were significantly more likely than females to watch violent media, with exposure to violent media associated with physically hurting someone at school. Students involved in greater acts of animal cruelty had increased odds of being involved in all forms of the violence measured.

Research limitations/implications

Limitations such as the cross-sectional nature of the study and the small sample size are noted, along with suggestions for future research.

Practical implications

Implications of the research for practitioners working with adolescents, with a particular focus on the school setting, are discussed.

Originality/value

Most previously published research on adolescent involvement in violence has been conducted outside Australia, and as such, may not be directly applicable to the experiences of young people in Western Australia.

Keywords

Citation

Baxendale, S., Lester, L., Johnston, R. and Cross, D. (2015), "Risk factors in adolescents’ involvement in violent behaviours", Journal of Aggression, Conflict and Peace Research, Vol. 7 No. 1, pp. 2-18. https://doi.org/10.1108/JACPR-09-2013-0025

Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited