Investigating adolescent family violence

Investigators: Dr Kate Fitz-Gibbon, Professor Jan Coles, Professor JaneMaree Maher, Professor Jude McCulloch, Dr Deborah Western

Adolescent family violence (AFV) describes violence perpetrated by young people against family members. This distinct form of family violence has a detrimental effect on the health and wellbeing of families. To date, there is limited research examining AFV, and few tailored responses and programs to address it.

Investigating adolescent family violence is a project being conducted by a multidisciplinary team of Monash University researchers from the School of Social Sciences, the Department of General Practice, and the Department of Social Work. It will explore attitudes towards, patterns of, and the impact of AFV. The project builds on, and compliments, work being conducted in the United Kingdom (titled Investigating adolescent violence towards parents).

This is a pilot project, funded by a Monash Affinity grant, which will build knowledge in this complex area, and form the basis of a national project. The findings will be of relevance to all Australian jurisdictions, and have the potential to inform and reform legal, health and social responses to AFV, and provide a greater understanding of ‘risk’. We plan to report in April 2018. The project has completed focus groups for those who support adolescents and families and an anonymous survey: our thanks to those who shared their experiences so generously. 

Data Collected:

  • Focus groups and interviews with 45  service providers
  • 7 in-depth interviews with GPs
  • 120 survey responses from people who had experienced AFV

Read the team’s piece in The Conversation:
‘Long Ignored, Adolescent Family Violence Needs Our Attention’

Read the project Context Report: what do we already know about Adolescent Family Violence 

Monash Gender and Family Violence Research briefs on AFV: 



Associate Professor Rachel Condry, Oxford University, the lead researcher on adolescent violence research in the UK visited and conducted a workshop with Monash researchers in February 2017. 

Project contacts: Dr Kate Fitz-Gibbon and Professor JaneMaree Maher