What are the warning signs that young people are becoming radicalised? Kamaldeep Bhui at Queen Mary University, London, applies a public health approach to this question, and attempts to find risk and resilience factors.
Radicalisation seems to be unrelated to poverty, political engagement, frequency of religious worship, or experience of discrimination or adversity. However there was a correlation between being born outside the UK, general ill health, and the experience of depression.
Bhui recommends that vulnerable young people are exposed to healthy sources of self-esteem, authentic religious teaching, and social support. These factors are known to protect young people from joining gangs; it is likely that they will also inoculate young people against the temptation to become radicalised.
New Scientist No. 3016, 11th April 2015, p24 – 25.