The Protective Buffering Effects of Psychological Resilience in Terrorist Offenders.

Dr Emily Corner1, Dr Helen Taylor1, Miss Caitlin Clemmow2

1Australian National University, Canberra, Australia,

2University College London, London, United Kingdom

Within terrorism studies, the examination of mental health as both a risk and protective factor has largely focused on the relationship with the movement towards terrorist involvement. The impact of being a terrorist upon mental health has rarely been studied (Bubloz & Simi, 2019; Gill & Corner, 2017), however, recent research has shown that there is an association between the occurrence of mental health across the spectrum of terrorist involvement (Corner, Bouhana, & Gill, 2018). This paper endeavours to further this work in two ways: Firstly, this work critically examines resilience. High internal resilience has been shown to buffer the negative effects of stress on mental health. This paper also disaggregates three discrete stages of terrorist involvement; pre-engagement, engagement, and disengagement. In order to test whether resilience acts to protect against the negative psychological repercussions of terrorist involvement, we undertake cluster analyses. Specifically, we use two step-cluster analysis to inductively detect meaningful subgroups at each discrete stage. Bi-variate analyses then test the association between these groupings and resilience, in an exploratory attempt to examine the role of resilience, dynamically, across the terrorist trajectory.


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