Youth involvement in serious physical violence and political violence: Similarities and differences in risk factors

Mona Khoury-Kassabri*, Badi Hasisi, Eran Itskovich

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Youth involvement in violence and delinquency has received widespread attention in the literature. However, little is known about youth involvement in political violence, especially among youth who live in conflict areas. The current study examined the mechanisms that underlie youth involvement in serious physical and political violence. We explored the similarities and differences in the association between both individual factors (including religiosity and school commitment) and parental factors (including parental control and education), and the two types of violent behaviors. Method: A large representative sample of 814 Arab male students from neighborhoods located in East Jerusalem, aged 12–18 years, completed a structured, anonymous, self-report questionnaire. The data was collected between February and May 2019. Results: Over half of the participants reported that they had been involved in political violence (55.1%) or serious physical violence (58.8%) during the previous year. Youth involvement in serious physical violence was positively associated with involvement in political violence. Furthermore, we found that greater parental control and lower impulsivity are associated with lower levels of political and physical violence. School commitment was associated negatively with serious physical violence but not with involvement in political violence. Youth work was positively correlated with involvement in political violence but not in serious physical violence. Conclusion: The results of the current study show that Arab youth from East Jerusalem are highly involved in political and serious physical violence. The risk and protective factors identified here should inform the design of specific intervention strategies.

Original languageAmerican English
JournalJournal of Adolescence
StateAccepted/In press - 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 The Authors. Journal of Adolescence published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of Foundation for Professionals in Services to Adolescents.


  • adolescents
  • impulsivity
  • parental control
  • political violence
  • religiosity
  • serious physical violence


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