Discrimination and Bullying against Australians with Disability

Project Details

This project describes the extent of bullying and discrimination experienced by Australians with disability, and the impact on their social and economic participation, as well as their health and wellbeing. The project is a collaboration with the Attitude Foundation whose focus is to relieve discrimination experienced by Australians with disability and shape a new understanding of disability.


Professor Anne Kavanagh, University of Melbourne
Ms Zoe Aitken, University of Melbourne
Dr Tania King, University of Melbourne
Associate Professor Naomi Priest, Australian National University
Mr Graeme Innes AM, Attitude Foundation
Professor Gwynnyth Llewellyn, University of Sydney


Attitude Foundation


Disability Research Initiative, University of Melbourne and the Attitude Foundation

Research Outcomes

Disabled teens suffering the mental health effects of bullying –  The Conversation
Segregating the disabled is unacceptable  –  The Australian
Teenagers who are both bully and victim are more likely to have suicidal thoughts –  The Conversation
Disability, discrimination and health – Croakey
Violence against people with disability matters – The Conversation

Research Publications

  1. King T, Aitken Z, Milner A, Emerson E, Priest N, Karahalios A, Kavanagh A & Blakely T. To what extent is the association between disability and mental health in adolescents mediated by bullying? A causal mediation analysis. Int J Epidemiol, 2018; 47(5), 1402-1413. doi:10.1093/ije/dyy1543
  2. Kavanagh A, Priest N, Emerson E, Milner A, King T. Gender, parental education, and experiences of bullying victimization by Australian adolescents with and without a disability. Child Care Health Dev 2018.
  3. Krnjacki L, Priest N, King T, Aitken Z, Emerson E, Llewellyn G & Kavanagh AM. Disability-based discrimination and health: Findings from an Australian-based population study. Aust NZ J Public Health 2018 Apr;42(2):172-174 10.1111/1753-6405.12735
  4. Priest N, King T, B├ęcares L & Kavanagh AM. Bullying victimization and racial discrimination among Australian children. Am J Public Health. 2016 Oct; 106 (10):1882-4. 10.2105/AJPH.2016.303328
  5. Emerson E, Krnjacki L, Llewellyn G, Vaughan C & Kavanagh A. Perceptions of safety and exposure to violence in public places among working age adults with disabilities or long-term health conditions in the UK: cross sectional study. Public Health. 2016 3(11) pii: S0033-3506(15)00446-1.10.1016/j.puhe.2015.10.036
  6. Emerson E, Newland J, Vaughan C, Llewellyn G. Physical Violence and Property Crime Reported by People with and without Disability in New South Wales 2002-2015.. Sydney: Centre for Disability Research and Policy; 2017.
  7. Krnjacki L, Emerson E, Llewellyn G & Kavanagh A. Prevalence and risk of violence against people with and without disabilities: Findings from an Australian population-based study. Aust NZ J Public Health 2016 Feb;40(1):16-21. 10.1111/1753-6405.12498
  8. Kavanagh AM, Krnjacki L, Aitken Z, LaMontagne A, Beer A, Baker E & Bentley R. Intersections between disability, type of impairment, gender and socio-economic disadvantage in a nationally representative sample of 33,101 working-aged Australians. Disabil Health J. 2015 Apr;8(2):191-9. 10.1016/j.dhjo.2014.08.008.

Research Group

Disability and Health Unit

School Research Themes

Disparities, disadvantage and effective health care

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact the research group leader.

Department / Centre

Centre for Health Equity

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