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Extremism, religion and psychiatric morbidity in a population-based sample of young men

  • Jeremy W. Coid (a1), Kamaldeep Bhui (a2), Deirdre MacManus (a3), Constantinos Kallis (a1), Paul Bebbington (a4) and Simone Ullrich (a5)...
Abstract
Background

There is growing risk from terrorism following radicalisation of young men. It is unclear whether psychopathology is associated.

Aims

To investigate the population distribution of extremist views among UK men.

Method

Cross-sectional study of 3679 men, 18–34 years, in Great Britain. Multivariate analyses of attitudes, psychiatric morbidity, ethnicity and religion.

Results

Pro-British men were more likely to be White, UK born, not religious; anti-British were Muslim, religious, of Pakistani origin, from deprived areas. Pro- and anti-British views were linearly associated with violence (adjusted odds ratio (OR) = 1.51, 95% CI 1.38–1.64, P<0.001, adjusted OR = 1.33, 95% CI 1.13–1.58, P<0.001, respectively) and negatively with depression (adjusted OR = 0.72, 95% CI 0.61–0.85, P<0.001, adjusted OR = 0.64, 95% CI 0.48–0.86, P = 0.003, respectively).

Conclusions

Men at risk of depression may experience protection from strong cultural or religious identity. Antisocial behaviour increases with extremism. Religion is protective but may determine targets of violence following radicalisation.

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Copyright
This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) licence.
Corresponding author
Simone Ullrich, Violence Prevention Research Unit, Queen Mary University of London, Garrod Building, Turner Street, London E1 2AD, UK. Email: s.ullrich@qmul.ac.uk
Footnotes
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Declaration of interest

K.B. is Editor of the BJPsych and was not involved in any editorial decisions about the manuscript.

Footnotes
References
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Extremism, religion and psychiatric morbidity in a population-based sample of young men

  • Jeremy W. Coid (a1), Kamaldeep Bhui (a2), Deirdre MacManus (a3), Constantinos Kallis (a1), Paul Bebbington (a4) and Simone Ullrich (a5)...
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