The Challenge and Promise of a Multidisciplinary Team Response to the Problem of Violent Radicalization

B. Heidi Ellis, Alisa B. Miller, Ronald Schouten, Naima Y. Agalab, Saida M. Abdi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Violent radicalization is a complex process that results from multiple influences and experiences across the settings and contexts of an individual’s life. No single pathway or characteristic determines who is at risk for it. Given this understanding, no single intervention aimed at this multiply-determined problem is likely to be successful if it is implemented in isolation. Multidisciplinary team approaches are increasingly seen as holding promise in the prevention and intervention of violent radicalization in the United States and internationally. A multidisciplinary team is typically a group of professionals who are members of different fields of study (psychology, medicine, social work, etc.) who provide a specific service to an individual. Team members independently focus on the issues in which they specialize and activities of the team are coordinated with a common goal. This paper aims to extend current knowledge by addressing questions related to challenges in implementing a multidisciplinary team approach with the capacity to address violent radicalization, presenting potential solutions to these challenges as well as highlighting one multidisciplinary team, Community Connect, that successfully worked with youth identified as being at risk for violence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
JournalTerrorism and Political Violence
StatePublished - 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This project was supported by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA; U79 SMSM080047), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and the John Leopold Weil and Geraldine Rickard Weil Memorial Charitable Foundation (PI Ellis). The views, findings, and conclusions expressed in this report are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of, the SAMHSA, HHS, or the Weil Memorial Charitable Foundation.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020, © 2020 Taylor & Francis.


  • Multidisciplinary team
  • intervention
  • prevention
  • radicalization to violent extremism
  • violent radicalization


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