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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.

Original publication




Journal article


British Journal of Psychiatry

Publication Date





491 - 497