This working group is investigating the influence of the internet and online communities (e.g. incels) on radicalisation, mental illness and violence.

We aim to improve understanding of this association and identify risk factors that influence an individual’s vulnerability to radicalisation. We hope this work will provide clinicians with the necessary knowledge to approach these sensitive topics during clinical and forensic assessments with clients and to tailor clinical interventions to address their needs and prevent (further) radicalisation

Internal researchers
  • Lead: Dr Jonathan Hafferty
  • Dr David Murphy
  • Josephine Broyd
  • Rita Hira.

External partner researchers

  • Dr Damon Parsons
  • Lauren Boniface, Cardiff University
  • West Yorkshire Police.
Our current research

This is particularly timely following the mass shooting in Plymouth in 2020 linked to the incel movement.

Given the recent emergence of this online community and increasing concerns of links with extremism, it is important that we understand the risk factors for engaging with this community and the potential for related violence.

Following a review of current literature, we have produced some recommendations for clinical practice, particularly thinking about risk assessment, targets for intervention and prevention of radicalisation and violence.

Read more on incels, violence and mental disorder: a narrative review with recommendations for best practice in risk assessment and clinical intervention on the Cambridge University press website

Our paper aims to address the lack of knowledge among mental health professionals on the associations between 'inceldom' and mental disorder and will be the first to have a specific focus on mental health in this population.

This project aims to understand the experiences of practising clinicians in forensic and non-forensic settings with individuals who may have experiences with the incel community.

This survey will not be asking for specific case studies but general experiences with those who identify as an incel or those who could potentially be an incel.

We hope to get an understanding of the prevalence of this community within the mental health system and understand any associated mental health difficulties and forensic histories. This will help us in identifying individuals who are vulnerable to the incel ideology.