Terrorism represents a major threat to global security; however, psychosocial risk factors for terrorism are insufficiently explored in the literature. Using a cross-sectional design, we examined group differences in family, childhood, and personality factors, and attitudes towards terrorism among individuals convicted of terrorism (n = 160); those convicted of murder (n = 65); and a control group (n = 88). Using regression models, we consequently analyzed the risk factors for group membership, with a focus on terrorism. Compared to controls, terrorists had higher odds of persistent childhood disobedience, a conduct disorder factor, and endorsing statements on the causes of and justifications for terrorism, but lower odds of harsh treatment as a child. Murderers had greater odds of antisocial personality disorder (ASPD), of endorsing statements on the causes of and justifications for terrorism, but lower odds of being easily provoked and harsh treatment before age 15. Compared to murderers, terrorists had higher odds of endorsing statements on the causes of and justifications for terrorism, but lower odds of ASPD, having a family member murdered, and being easily provoked. Although psychosocial risk factors for terrorism overlap significantly with violent criminal behaviors, certain factors may help distinguish terrorists from other groups. These factors merit further investigation.
- Journal : London Review of Education
- Author : Eleni Christodoulou,
- Date : 2020
- Volume : 18(1)
- Link : https://doi.org/10.18546/LRE.18.1.02