A Preliminary Look at Aggressive and Violent Behaviour in Aboriginal Adolescent Girls



Rates of aggression in adolescent girls are increasing, and Aboriginal adolescent girls are particularly at risk. No single variable has been found to predict involvement in aggressive or violent behaviour as either a victim or perpetrator. When conducting research with Aboriginal communities, it is particularly important to first consider historical context, and then review unique individual, school, family, and community factors related to aggressive and violent behaviour. The intention of this paper is to develop a proposal for future research on violent behaviour for Aboriginal adolescent girls.Therefore, this paper reviews data from the Raven’s Children report, which is based on data from the McCreary Centre Society’s Adolescent Health Survey (AHS) II. In 1998, the AHS II was administered to over 26,000 youth attending school in the province of British Columbia, of whom 1707 participants (45 percent male, 55 percent female) identified themselves as Aboriginal. An encouraging finding was that the majority of Aboriginal girls rated their health as good or excellent. Aboriginal girls who experienced harassment or abuse demonstrated significantly higher levels of emotional distress. A limitation of this study was that the AHS II did not specifically address issues from the perspective of the perpetrator. However, we did gain insight into factors related to being a victim of aggressive or violent behaviour. Future directions for research are discussed.

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