Intergroup Processes: Revenge among Youth Living Amid Protracted Conflict

Dean O'Driscoll*, Angelica Restrepo, Laura K. Taylor

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

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This chapter applies a developmental approach to understand how intergroup processes shape the emergence of retaliatory motives and behaviours among youth growing up in contexts of protracted intergroup conflict, drawing on research examples from Israel-Palestine, Northern Ireland and Vukovar, Croatia. Across these conflict-affected societies, reasoning around revenge may be influenced by both personal and collective victimization. As part of the cycle of violence, youth may be motivated to engage in tit-for-tat acts of retaliation through direct exposure to political violence, social identification with conflict-related groups and group norms. Family and broader societal processes may further reinforce desires for revenge by transmitting narratives of ethnic socialization and historic group suffering. Children and adolescents may display variation in intensities of retaliatory behaviours, such as aggression and discrimination, which can contribute to the maintenance of intergroup hostilities across generations. The chapter integrates learnings from the three cases and offers recommendations for peacebuilding interventions.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRevenge across Childhood and Adolescence
EditorsHolly Recchia, Cecilia Wainryb
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages30
ISBN (Electronic)9781108776684
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2021


  • children
  • adolescents
  • protracted conflict
  • Israel
  • Palestine
  • Northern Ireland
  • Croatia
  • revenge
  • intergroup relations
  • group processes


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