This project forms the basis for Michelle Tye’s doctoral thesis, and investigates the relationship between individual specific risks (i.e. psychopathology, personality traits, early life trauma) as they relate to the onset and life course of violent offending and victimisation among a sample of community-based polysubstance users. This research offers a detailed examination of the substance use-violence relationship, particularly surrounding violent victimisation (community and domestic settings), which is an area that has been neglected in the drug and alcohol literature.
To describe patterns ofviolent offending and victimisation among polysubstance users; to provide an in-depth examination of the relationship between psychopathology, personality, and early life trauma to understand the onset and life course of violence; and to model the course of reduction or desistance from violent crime, and individual-level factors associated with such desistance.
This thesis work draws from 2 datasets. Firstly, a study of 300 cross-sectional quantitative interviews of community-based regular polysubstance users from the Sydney metro area, and secondly, survey data from the Comorbidity and Trauma Study (CATS). The CATS survey consists of 2000 cross-sectional interviews, and includes 1500 cases (opioid dependent) and 500 controls (non-opioid dependent).
180 from 300 interviews for the first 2 empirical chapters of this doctoral work have been collected to date.
This research provides important new data regarding the latent relationships mediating the drug-violence association by focusing individual level risks and how they relate to violence, instead of approaching the relationship from the ‘drug use causes violence’ perspective, as is common in the drug and alcohol use literature. Additionally, this research will provide an in-depth examination of the predictors and course of violent victimisation among polysubstance users, as this is an area which has been largely neglected in the drug and alcohol literature. This research may have implications early identification of those most at risk for violent offending and victimisation, and for informing targeted interventions.