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This study used recent advances in attitude and self-perception research to develop an Attitude to Non-Violence Scale (ANVS). Participants were students from six high schools in Australia (N = 727). Confirmatory factor analysis using within-construct and between-construct validation approaches found two positive attitude sub-scales: Cognitive (proactive understanding) and Affective (do not endorse violence), both showing convergent and discriminant validity. Scale equivalence tests found that the sub-scales were applicable to boys and girls and to junior and senior grades. Structural equation modeling found that boys had less supportive attitudes to nonviolence cognitively, whereas female students in senior secondary classes had less positive attitudes to non-violence affectively. The ANVS can be easily administered to assess youth’s non-violence attitudes, which may direct interventions focusing on boys’ cognitive aspects while maintaining girls’ positive affective attitudes toward non-violence as they mature. The positively framed instrument is suitable for education settings especially in high-risk locations where violence is prevalent.


Institute for Positive Psychology and Education

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Journal Article

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