Original Research ARTICLE
Do radicalized minors have different social and psychological profiles from radicalized adults ?
- 1Université Pierre et Marie Curie, France
- 2Psychiatrie de l’Enfant et de l’Adolescent, Hôpital Pitié-Salpêtrière, Assistance Publique Hopitaux De Paris, France
- 3ARTEMIS, Groupe SOS, France
- 4Radicalisation, Bouzar-Expertises, France
- 5Psychiatrie de l’Enfant et de l’Adolescent, Université de Bretagne Occidentale, France
Introduction: Radicalization is a major issue in Western societies. Supposedly, there is no predefined pathway leading to radicalization. However, youth appears to be at risk for radicalization. The aim of this study was to compare the social and psychological profiles of radicalized minors and radicalized adults.
Methods: This cross-sectional study is based on the first large prospective sample of young French individuals (N=150) who aimed to join the Islamic State (IS) between 2014 and 2016. 70 were adolescents (mean age 15.82 years old, SD 1.14) and 80 were young adults (mean age 23.32 years, SD 4.99). Using a quantitative method, we compared the two groups on their sociodemographic and psychological characteristics.
Results: Radicalized minors and radicalized adults have different profiles and follow different paths in the radicalization process. Among the group of minors, there are significantly more female subjects in the group of minors (81.4% versus 55.0%, p = 0.001) and more self-harm history before radicalization (44.3% versus 16.2%, p <0.001). In addition, there are significantly less cases of radicalization among the entourage (32.9% versus 52.5%, p=0.015), less attempts to radicalize the entourage (24.3% versus 50.0%, p=0.001), less radicalization through physical encounter (45.7% versus 65%, p=0.018).
Discussion: Overall, radicalized minors appear to be more psychologically vulnerable individuals than radicalized adults. These differences highlight the importance of tailored interventions in order to prevent radicalization among vulnerable adolescents.
Keywords: Radicalization, Terrorism, Violence, Social context, adolescence
Received: 08 Nov 2018;
Accepted: 08 Aug 2019.
Edited by:Kerstin Jessica V. Plessen, Département de Psychiatrie, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois, Switzerland
Reviewed by:Edward D. Barker, Birkbeck, University of London, United Kingdom
Martin Steppan, University Psychiatric Clinic Basel, Switzerland
Copyright: © 2019 Cohen, Oppetit, Campelo, Bouzar, Pellerin, Hefez, Bronsard and Bouzar. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.
* Correspondence: Prof. David Cohen, Université Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris, France, firstname.lastname@example.org