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When extremists become violent: examining the association between social control, social learning, and engagement in violent extremism

NCJ Number
Studies in Conflict & Terrorism Volume: 44 Issue: 12 Dated: 2021 Pages: 1104-1124
Date Published
June 2021
21 pages

This research examines the relationship between social control and social learning variables on involvement in violent vs. non-violent extremism.



Using data from the Profiles of Individual Radicalization in the United States (PIRUS) database (n = 1,757), this study presents a series of logistic regressions. Among radicalized individuals, weaker social control and stronger social learning of violence were associated violent over non-violent behavior. These results hold across all models. Taken together, these findings support the role of control and learning theories in identifying correlates of violent and non-violent extremism and suggest the possibility of reciprocal and interaction effects for future work. (Publisher Abstract)


Date Published: June 1, 2021