Psykologisk Institut

Countering Radicalization: An Empirical Examination from a Life Psychological Perspective

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Life Psychology has emerged as an integrative framework theory that has been applied in interventions preventing and countering radicalization processes. Central to this theory is the experience of living in a safe and secure sociocultural context, designated as life-attachment and conceptualized as a root factor of radicalization. Furthermore, the theory emphasizes the interplay between generic life tasks (e.g., participating in community activities) and skills (e.g. taking one’s own and others’ perspectives into consideration) through which the individual can develop and reach a good enough life-attachment. A deficiency in development of life skills is a risk factor as it functions as an underlying mechanism regarding the relationship between insecure life-attachment and extremism. Through cross-national samples from the U.S. (n=322) and Denmark (n=364), the present paper operationalizes and validates the central concepts of life skills and life-attachment. Furthermore, these measures are examined in a statistical model hypothesizing insecure life-attachment as a root factor in relation to violent extremism and deficient life skills as a risk factor. Consequently, the study draws attention to how generic life skills can be developed as a way of preventing and countering radicalization.
TidsskriftPeace and Conflict
StatusE-pub ahead of print - 2019

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