Coping and preventing lateral violence in the Aboriginal community in Adelaide

Yvonne Clark, Martha Augoustinos, Merridy Malin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Lateral violence describes how members of oppressed groups direct their dissatisfaction inward. This inward deflection has been associated with the Aboriginal community in Adelaide, South Australia and has shown to be destructive. Interviews with 30 Aboriginal participants examining their ways of dealing with and strategising to prevent lateral violence in the community have been presented in a thematic analysis. Overall seven major interpretive themes emerged from these interviews: education is central; support provides unity; champions and role models are essential; culture and identity are empowering; avoidance of Aboriginal spaces by Aboriginal people can be protective; lateral violence can be challenged; and positively reinterpreted. Given that many participants drew on a number of coping strategies to deal with lateral
violence, it is hoped that such information will benefit individuals, community,
governments and funding agencies to support future research, education and services within communities in order for Aboriginal people to heal and prevent lateral violence.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)105-123
JournalThe Australian Community Psychologist
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2017

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