What is the BRAVE?

The Building Resilience Against Violent Extremism (BRAVE) is a measure of risk and protective factors for young people’s resilience to violent extremism.

It was developed and validated as part of a collaborative research initiative between the Alfred Deakin Institute for Citizenship and Globalisation, Deakin University (Australia) and the Resilience Research Centre, Dalhousie University (Canada).

The measure consists of a brief number of statement items which are responded to using a 5-point scale.

The BRAVE gives an overall measure of an individual’s resilience to violence extremism. It also provides scores across 5 domains important to resilience to violent extremism:

  1. Cultural identity and connectedness: This is familiarity with one’s own cultural heritage, practices, beliefs, traditions, values and norms (can involve more than one culture); knowledge of ‘mainstream’ cultural practices, beliefs, traditions, values and norms if different from own cultural heritage; having a sense of cultural pride; feeling anchored in one’s own cultural beliefs and practices; feeling that one’s culture is accepted by the wider community; feeling able to share one’s culture with others.
  2. Bridging capital: This relates to trust and confidence in people from other groups; support for and from people from other groups; strength of ties to people outside one’s group; having the skills, knowledge and confidence to connect with other groups; valuing inter-group harmony; active engagement with people from other groups.
  3. Linking capital: Trust and confidence in government and authority figures; trust in community organisations; having the skills, knowledge and resources to make use of institutions and organisations outside one’s local community; ability to contribute to or influence policy and decision making relating to one’s own community
  4. Violence-related behaviours: The willingness to speak out publicly against violence; willingness to challenge the use of violence by others; acceptance of violence as a legitimate means of resolving conflicts
  5. Violence-related beliefs: The degree to which violence is seen to confer status and respect; degree to which violence is normalised or well tolerated for any age group in the community.

Uses for the BRAVE

The BRAVE can be used by researchers, government agencies, policy makers, and community stakeholders to:

  • Facilitate the comparison of risk and protective factors for young people’s resilience to violent extremism;
  • Contextualize the ways in which young people are able to resist violent extremism, as well as why they may become vulnerable to using violent extremism as a solution to problems;
  • Systematically identify and strengthen existing resilience resources;
  • Help to identify current vulnerabilities in youth resilience to violent extremism through community partnerships and program development;
  • Support efforts of communities and agencies to develop effective and meaningful youth-focused policies and programs that can identify both what communities already possess as resilience resources (but which may be unrecognized or under-used), and what vulnerabilities or gaps need to be addressed, and how;
  • Support evaluations of strategies and programs for strengthening resilience to violent extremism amongst young people, helping to show the effectiveness of innovative, culturally and contextually sensitive interventions.

The BRAVE has already been used in a published paper investigating how gender and discrimination influence violent behaviours and violent beliefs (Ungar, Hadfield, Amarasingam, Morgan, & Grossman, 2017) and in another forthcoming paper (Ungar, Amarasingam, & Morgan. (in press). Barriers to violence and pathways to resilience among Canadian Indigenous youth. Canadian Journal of Community Mental Health).

Development of the BRAVE

The BRAVE was developed and validated as part of a collaborative research initiative between the Alfred Deakin Institute for Citizenship and Globalisation, Deakin University (Australia) and the Resilience Research Centre, Dalhousie University (Canada).

It was originally developed using findings from a government-funded research project in Australia (‘Harnessing Resilience Capital’, CVESC/ANZ CTC, 2013-14) and a research project in Canada (‘Barriers to Violent Radicalisation: Understanding Pathways to Resilience among Canadian Youth’, Kanishka Project, 2014-15). A subsequent study trialled and validated the measure with 475 young people (18 to 30 years old) from a wide range of culturally diverse backgrounds in Australia and Canada (Grossman et al., 2017).

You can read more about the development of the measure in:

Modifications/Translations

Currently, the Resilience Research Centre does not officially offer the BRAVE measure in any language other than English.

No special authorization is required to translate the measure. If you create a translation we encourage you to share it with us. Click here to send us a copy of the finalized translation and a back translation into English to enhance the validity of the translation process (please create and attach this as one document). For more information on the process and value of back translation see Richard W. Brislin’s article, “Back-Translation for Cross-Cultural Research” in the Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology (1970, Vol. 1, No. 3, pages 185-216).