Belonging nowhere: Marginalization & radicalization risk among Muslim immigrants

by sarah lyons-padilla, michele j. gelfand, hedieh mirahmadi, mehreen farooq, marieke van egmon
February 16, 2017

Supplemental Material

Author Note

This research was supported by the Science and Technology Directorate of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security through Study of Terrorism and Behavior Grant 2012-ST-61-CS0001 made to the National Consortium on the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START). The views and conclusions contained in this article are those of the authors and should not be interpreted as necessarily representing the official policies, either expressed or implied, of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security or START. This research was also funded by an Anneliese Maier Research Award from the Humboldt Foundation and Office of Naval Research Grant 019183-001 awarded to Michele Gelfand. We also thank Arie Kruglanski and the START research group at the University of Maryland for their input throughout the research process.

Author Affiliation

Lyons-Padilla and Gelfand, Department of Psychology, University of Maryland; Mirahmadi and Farooq, World Organization for Resource Development and Education; van Egmond, Bremen International Graduate School of Social Sciences, Jacobs University, Bremen. Corresponding author’s e-mail:


1. Barrett, R. (2015). Foreign fighters: An updated assessment of the flow of foreign fighters into Syria and Iraq. Retrieved from the Soufan Group website:

2. Benac, N., & Riechmann, D. (2014, September 20). Tracing shift from everyday American to jihadis. Associated Press. Retrieved from

3. U.S. House of Representatives, Committee on Homeland Security. (2014, September 17). FBI, DHS, NCTC heads agree: ISIS recruitment and radicalization of Americans dangerous and difficult to track [Press release]. Retrieved from

4. Pearce, E. (2014, September 3). ISIS and the politics of radicalization [Blog post]. Retrieved from

5. Butler, D. (2015, December 3). Terrorism science: 5 insights into jihad in Europe. Nature, 528, 20–21. doi:10.1038/528020a

6. Roy, O. (2015, November). What is the driving force behind jihadist terrorism? A scientific perspective on the causes/circumstances of joining the scene [Speech]. Available from Bundeskriminalamt Autumn Conference website:

7. Rosenbach, M., & Stark, H. (2011, May 11). German jihad: Homegrown terror takes on new dimensions. Spiegel Online International. Retrieved from

8. Atran, S. (2003, March 7). Genesis of suicide terrorism. Science, 299, 1534–1539. doi:10.1126/science.1078854

9. Horgan, J. (2003). The search for the terrorist personality. In A. Silke (Ed.), Terrorists, victims and society: Psychological perspectives on terrorism and its consequences (pp. 3–27). Chichester, United Kingdom: Wiley.

10. Kruglanski, A. W., Chen, X., Dechesne, M., Fishman, S., & Orehek, E. (2009). Fully committed: Suicide bombers’ motivation and the quest for personal significance. Political Psychology, 30, 331–357. doi:10.1111/j.1467-9221.2009.00698.x

11. Kruglanski, A. W., Gelfand, M. J., Bélanger, J. J., Sheveland, A., Hettiarachchi, M., & Gunaratna, R. (2014). The psychology of radicalization and deradicalization: How significance quest impacts violent extremism. Political Psychology, 35, 69–93. doi:10.1111/pops.12163

12. Kruglanski, A. W., Bélanger, J. J., Gelfand, M., Gunaratna, R., Hettiarachchi, M., Reinares, F., . . . Sharvit, K. (2013). Terrorism—A (self) love story: Redirecting the significance quest can end violence. American Psychologist, 68, 559–575. doi:10.1037/a0032615

13. Hogg, M. A. (2012). Uncertainty-identity theory. In P. A. M. Van Lange, A. W. Kruglanski, & E. T. Higgins (Eds.), Handbook of theories of social psychology (Vol. 2, pp. 62–80). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

14. Hogg, M. A. (2014). From uncertainty to extremism: Social categorization and identity processes. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 23, 338–342.

15. Hogg, M. A., & Adelman, J. (2013). Uncertainty–identity theory: Extreme groups, radical behavior, and authoritarian leadership. Journal of Social Issues, 69, 436–454.

16. Hogg, M. A., Meehan, C., & Farquharson, J. (2010). The solace of radicalism: Self-uncertainty and group identification in the face of threat. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 46, 1061–1066. doi:10.1016/j.jesp.2010.05.005

17. Hogg, M. A., Sherman, D. K., Dierselhuis, J., Maitner, A. T., & Moffitt, G. (2007). Uncertainty, entitativity, and group identification. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 43, 135–142. doi:10.1016/j.jesp.2005.12.008

18. Crenshaw, M. (2007). Explaining suicide terrorism: A review essay. Security Studies, 16, 133–162.

19. McMillan, D. W., & Chavis, D. M. (1986). Sense of community: A definition and theory. Journal of Community Psychology, 14, 6–23.

20. Hogg, M. A., Adelman, J. R., & Blagg, R. D. (2010). Religion in the face of uncertainty: An uncertainty-identity theory account of religiousness. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 14, 72–83.

21. Stroink, M. L. (2007). Processes and preconditions underlying terrorism in second-generation immigrants. Peace and Conflict: Journal of Peace Psychology, 13, 293–312. doi:10.1080/10781910701471322

22. Berry, J. W. (1970). Marginality, stress and ethnic identification in an acculturated aboriginal community. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 1, 239–252. doi:10.1177/135910457000100303

23. Berry, J. W. (1997). Immigration, acculturation, and adaptation. Applied Psychology: An International Review, 46, 5–34. doi:10.1080/026999497378467

24. Berry, J. W. (2003). Conceptual approaches to acculturation. In K. M. Chun, P. B. Organista, & G. Marín (Eds.), Acculturation: Advances in theory, measurement, and applied research (pp. 17–37). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

25. Sam, D. L., & Berry, J. W. (2010). Acculturation: When individuals and groups of different cultural backgrounds meet. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 5, 472–481. doi:10.1177/1745691610373075

26. Cohen, S., & Wills, T. A. (1985). Stress, social support, and the buffering hypothesis. Psychological Bulletin, 98, 310–357. doi:10.1037/0033-2909.98.2.310

27. Berry, J. W. (2006). Contexts of acculturation. In D. L. Sam & J. W. Berry (Eds.), The Cambridge handbook of acculturation psychology (pp. 27–42). New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.

28. Taarnby, M. (2005). Recruitment of Islamist terrorists in Europe: Trends and perspectives [Research report]. Retrieved from Investigative Project on Terrorism website:

29. Berry, J. W. (2007, June). Are immigrant youth at risk for radicalization? Paper presented at the 68th Annual Canadian Psychological Association Conference, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

30. Doosje, B., Loseman, A., & van den Bos, K. (2013). Determinants of radicalization of Islamic youth in the Netherlands: Personal uncertainty, perceived injustice, and perceived group threat. Journal of Social Issues, 69, 586–604.

31. Simon, B., Reichert, F., & Grabow, O. (2013). When dual identity becomes a liability: Identity and political radicalism among migrants. Psychological Science, 24, 251–257. doi:10.1177/0956797612450889

32. King, M., & Taylor, D. M. (2011). The radicalization of homegrown jihadists: A review of theoretical models and social psychological evidence. Terrorism and Political Violence, 23, 602–622. doi:10.1080/09546553.2011.587064

33. Moghaddam, F. M. (2005). The staircase to terrorism: A psychological exploration. American Psychologist, 60, 161–169. doi:10.1037/0003-066X.60.2.161

34. Sageman, M. (2004). Understanding terror networks. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.

35. Silber, M. D., & Bhatt, A. (2007). Radicalization in the West: The homegrown threat. New York, NY: New York City Police Department.

36. Sirin, S. R., & Fine, M. (2007). Hyphenated selves: Muslim American youth negotiating identities on the fault lines of global conflict. Applied Developmental Science, 11, 151–163. doi:10.1080/10888690701454658

37. Verkuyten, M., & Yildiz, A. A. (2007). National (dis)identification and ethnic and religious identity: A study among Turkish–Dutch Muslims. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 33, 1448–1462. doi:10.1177/0146167207304276

38. Fleischmann, F., Phalet, K., & Klein, O. (2011). Religious identification and politicization in the face of discrimination: Support for political Islam and political action among the Turkish and Moroccan second generation in Europe. British Journal of Social Psychology, 50, 628–648. doi:10.1111/j.2044-8309.2011.02072.x

39. Jamieson, J. P., Harkins, S. G., & Williams, K. D. (2010). Need threat can motivate performance after ostracism. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 36, 690–702. doi:10.1177/0146167209358882

40. Williams, K. D. (2009). Ostracism: A temporal need-threat model. In M. P. Zanna (Ed.), Advances in experimental social psychology (Vol. 41, pp. 275–314). London, United Kingdom: Elsevier.

41. Zadro, L., Williams, K. D., & Richardson, R. (2004). How low can you go? Ostracism by a computer is sufficient to lower self-reported levels of belonging, control, self-esteem, and meaningful existence. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 40, 560–567.

42. Kruglanski, A. W., Gelfand, M. J., Sheveland, A., Babush, M., Hetiarachchi, M., Bonto, M. N., & Gunaratna, R. (2015). What a difference two years make: Patterns of radicalization in a Philippine jail. Unpublished manuscript.

43. Chiu, C.-Y., Gelfand, M. J., Yamagishi, T., Shteynberg, G., & Wan, C. (2010). Intersubjective culture: The role of intersubjective perceptions in cross-cultural research. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 5, 482–493.

44. Shteynberg, G., Gelfand, M. J., & Kim, K. (2009). Peering into the “Magnum Mysterium” of culture: The explanatory power of descriptive norms. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 40, 46–69.

45. Hayes, A. F. (2012). PROCESS: A versatile computational tool for observed variable mediation, moderation, and conditional process modeling [White paper]. Retrieved from

46. Bjelopera, J. P., & Randol, M. A. (2010). American jihadist terrorism: Combating a complex threat. Washington, DC: Congressional Research Service.

47. Trianni, F., & Katz, A. (2014, September 5). Why Westerners are fighting for ISIS. TIME. Retrieved from

48. Elliott, A., Tavernise, S., & Barnard, A. (2010, May 15). For Times Sq. suspect, long roots of discontent. New York Times. Retrieved from

49. Mohamed, B. (2016, January 6). A new estimate of the U.S. Muslim population. Retrieved from Pew Research Center website:

50. Hackett, C. (2015, November 17). 5 facts about the Muslim population in Europe. Pew Research Center. Retrieved from Pew Research Center website:

51. Dugas, M., & Kruglanski, A. W. (2014). The quest for significance model of radicalization: Implications for the management of terrorist detainees. Behavioral Sciences & the Law, 32, 423–439.

52. Crouch, D., & Henley, J. (2015, February 23). A way home for jihadis: Denmark’s radical approach to Islamic extremism. Guardian. Retrieved from

53. Andre, V., Mansouri, F., & Lobo, M. (2015). A fragmented discourse of religious leadership in France: Muslim youth between citizenship and radicalization. Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs, 35, 296–313.

54. Prime Minister’s Task Force on Radicalisation and Extremism. (2013). Tackling extremism in the UK: Report from the Prime Minister’s Task Force on Radicalisation and Extremism. Retrieved from Her Majesty’s Government website:

55. Brown, K. E., & Saeed, T. (2014). Radicalization and counter-radicalization at British universities: Muslim encounters and alternatives. Ethnic and Racial Studies, 38(11), 1–17.

56. Gelfand, M. J., Raver, J. L., Nishii, L., Leslie, L. M., Lun, J., Lim, B. C., . . . Yamaguchi, S. (2011, May 27). Differences between tight and loose cultures: A 33-nation study. Science, 332, 1100–1104.