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Longitudinal Study: LSIC
Title: An Exploratory Study on Cultural Identity and Participation in Substance Use for Indigenous Youth in Australia.
Authors: Barkley, Timothy Clinton
Institution: Griffith University
Publication Date: 18-Jan-2023
Pages: 61
Keywords: Colonisation
Substance Use
Abstract: Criminological research has often overlooked the relationship between colonisation and historical trauma, beyond elements of social and economic disadvantage. This study aims to place Indigenous experience as central to our understanding of criminological outcomes, through examining the effect of cultural identity on substance use participation among Indigenous youth. Data was sourced from the 2018 Australian Longitudinal Study of Indigenous Children (LSIC) for a sample of 422 Indigenous youth. Measures of cultural identity used in this study reflected an Indigenous perspective on cultural identity. OLS regression results showed that there is no significant relationship between self-reported substance use and cultural identity after accounting for other demographic circumstances and life events. On the other hand, strong cultural identity in school and teachers style significantly reduced self-reported substance use. Contrary to existing research which has suggested that strong cultural identity provides a mechanism for enhancing positive well-being outcomes, this study did not find this mitigating effect on substance use participation for a sample of Indigenous youth (although this may be due to the limited variation in the high levels of cultural identity reported in the survey). Instead, the results pointed to teachers style and cultural identity in school. In reflecting on how these concepts were measured, the items focus on how safe participants felt about being Indigenous in school, and how much respect was shown in the way teachers’ interacted with students (teachers’ style). Thus, this study indicates that cultural safety and respect are key concepts that should be considered in future research on substance use among Indigenous youth, as well as in broader criminological research.
Research collection: Theses and student dissertations
Appears in Collections:Theses and student dissertations

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