The Legitimization of Terrorism in Adolescence and Youth: from Radicalisation Mechanisms to Risk Assessment Model



The demands of practice for the development of radicalisation risk assessment tools are still ahead of the capabilities of psychological science. An analysis of radicalisation risk assessment models used predominantly in the penitentiary systems of several countries suggests that these tools are controversial, hence the need for further theoretical reflection and experimental testing. The aim of the theoretical and analytical study outlined here is to formulate the key components of a model for assessing the risk of radicalisation in adolescent and young adult environments. Critical analysis of risk assessment models and social psychological theories of radicalisation allowed to demonstrate the advantages of M. Hogg’s uncertainty-identity theory in comparison with other explanatory concepts. Following the ideas of the uncertainty-identity theory several hypotheses were proposed in order to assess the radicalisation risk among adolescents and young people.

General Information

Keywords: radicalisation, terrorism, mechanisms of radicalisation, feeling of uncertainty, social identity, risk assessment

Journal rubric: Methodological Problems of Legal Psychology

Article type: scientific article


Funding. The work was performed as a part of the research project “Assessment of the radicalisation risk among young people” (State assignment of the Ministry of Education of the Russian Federation, no. 073-00110-22-02 dated 08.04.2022).

Received: 06.09.2022


For citation: Dvoryanchikov N.V., Bovin B.G., Melnikova D.V., Lavreshkin N.V., Bovina I.B. The Legitimization of Terrorism in Adolescence and Youth: from Radicalisation Mechanisms to Risk Assessment Model [Elektronnyi resurs]. Psikhologiya i pravo = Psychology and Law, 2022. Vol. 12, no. 4, pp. 154–170. DOI: 10.17759/psylaw.2022120412. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

Nikolay V. Dvoryanchikov, PhD in Psychology, Docent, Dean, Faculty of Legal and Forensic Psychology, Moscow State University of Psychology & Education, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:

Boris G. Bovin, PhD in Psychology, Docent, Leading Researcher, Federal State Institution Research Institute of the Federal Penitentiary Service of Russia, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:

Darya V. Melnikova, Lecturer, Department of Clinical and Forensic Psychology, Faculty of Legal Psychology, Moscow State University of Psychology & Education, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:

Nikita V. Lavreshkin, Psychologist, deviantologist, ORCID:, e-mail:

Inna B. Bovina, Doctor of Psychology, Research Director, Associate Professor, Department of Clinical and Legal Psychology, Moscow State University of Psychology & Education, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:



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