Clinical and psychological aspects of adolescent involvement in extremist and terrorist activities



The article deals with the clinical and psychological aspects of including minors in terrorist and extremist activities. In the historical perspective, it was traced how the views on the role of mental disorders in the genesis of such crimes changed. It is shown that terrorist and extremist activity must be viewed as a complex multi-factor phenomenon, in which socio-psychological components play a leading role. It is noted that the psychopathological process can act as a prerequisite for inclusion in such radical groups. Psychoanalytic, sociological, cognitive approaches, theories of social learning and the concept of diffuse ego-identity making attempts to explain the mechanisms of terrorist and extremist activity in minors are analyzed. The problem of insufficient study of the influence of the Internet and social networks on the formation of readiness for admission to adolescents in radical organizations is posed.

General Information

Keywords: adolescent offenders, terrorism, extremism.

Journal rubric: Forensic and Clinical Psychology in Legal Context

Article type: scientific article


For citation: Oshevsky D.S. Clinical and psychological aspects of adolescent involvement in extremist and terrorist activities [Elektronnyi resurs]. Psikhologiya i pravo = Psychology and Law, 2017. Vol. 7, no. 2, pp. 123–132. DOI: 10.17759/psylaw.2017060210. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

Dmitry S. Oshevsky, PhD in Psychology, Associate Professor, Associate Professor, Senior Researcher at the Laboratory of Child and Adolescent Psychology, V. P. Serbsky National Medical Research Center of Psychiatry and Narcology of the Ministry of Health of Russia, Associate Professor of the Department of Legal Psychology and Law, Moscow State University of Psychology and Education, Federal State Budgetary Institution "Research Center for Mental Health" Leading Researcher of the Department of Organization of Psychiatric Services, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:



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