Jeff Victoroff, Samir Quota, Janice R. Adelman, Barbara Celinska, Naftali Stern, Rand Wilcox and Robert M. Sapolsky (2010). : Support for religio-political aggression among teenaged boys in Gaza: Part I: psychological findings. Aggressive behavior, 36(4), 219-231.
Politically aggressive militant groups usually rely on support from a larger community, although evidence suggests that only some members of that larger community support that aggression. A major subtype of political aggression is that associated with religious differences—or Religio-Political Aggression (RPA). Little previous research has explored demographic or psychological factors that might distinguish supporters from non-supporters of RPA.
In an exploratory study, we investigated whether factors previously associated with aggression might correlate with support for RPA in the case of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict.
During the second intifada, fifty-two 14-year-old Palestinian boys in Gaza completed self-report measures of life events, emotional status, and political attitudes. Teenaged boys who reported family members having been wounded or killed by the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) expressed greater support for RPA (t(50)=−2.30, P=.026). In addition, boys who felt their group was treated unjustly reported greater support for RPA compared with those who did not (t(50)=−2.273, P=.027). Implications of these preliminary data are discussed.