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Cyber-Routines, Political Attitudes, and Exposure to Violence-Advocating Online Extremism

NCJ Number
Social Forces Volume: 98 Issue: 1 Dated: 2019 Pages: 329-353
Date Published
25 pages

Since the Internet's relatively unfettered transmission of information risks exposing individuals to extremist content, the current study used online survey data from 768 American youth and young adults to examine factors that bring individuals into contact with online material that advocates violence.


Combining aspects of social structure-social learning theory with insights from routine activity theory, the study found that exposure to violence-advocating materials is positively correlated with online behaviors, including the use of social media platforms and the virtual spaces individuals frequent. Target antagonism is also correlated with exposure to violence-advocating materials, but guardianship and online and offline associations are not. Finally, feelings of dissatisfaction with major social institutions and economic disengagement were associated with exposure to violent materials online. (publisher abstract modified)

Date Published: January 1, 2019