The role of vulnerable environments in support for homegrown terrorism: Fieldwork using the 3N model

Roberto M. Lobato, Manuel Moyano, Jocelyn J. Bélanger, Humberto M. Trujillo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The 3N model of radicalization proposes that violent radicalization is the result of the contribution of needs, networks, and narratives. Although research has mainly been supportive of this perspective, a substantial amount of ground remains uncovered regarding the network component of the model. Within this framework, we examine why individuals living in certain social environments tend to harbor more positive attitudes toward homegrown terrorism than others. Building on prior research, we hypothesized that individuals living in social environments known to be vulnerable (vs. less vulnerable) are more likely to experience a sense of significance loss (i.e., lack of social integration, perceived conflicts between religious groups), find solace in religious social networks (i.e., mosques), and thus adhere to radical narratives (i.e., legitimization of terrorism). A study with 365 young Muslims from different cities in Spain (Almería, Barcelona, Ceuta, and Melilla)supported these predictions. Theoretical and practical implications for the study of violent extremism are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)50-57
Number of pages8
JournalAggressive Behavior
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2021


  • 3N model of radicalization
  • environment
  • jihadist terrorism legitimization
  • mosque attendance
  • Terrorism
  • Aggression
  • Violence
  • Humans
  • Social Environment
  • Spain

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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