Identity: An International Journal of Theory and Research
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This study concerns the factors that are involved in a change from antisocial and criminal behavior to the development of a prosocial sense of identity in ten Aborigi- nal females. Data were obtained from recorded semi-structured interviews that in- cluded questionnaires and open-ended questions. These women had dysfunctional backgrounds and lifestyles yet ceased such behavior and entered university life. Findings indicated the resilience of these women. They overcame extreme disadvan- tages and “turned around” to develop purposeful and adaptive lives. Gaining a sense of their cultural background and integrating aspects of Aboriginal heritage into their sense of self were interwoven themes in the process. Findings are considered in terms of desistence and identity change from a maladaptive lifestyle with implications for cultural socialization.