Perceived Impact of Terrorism on Nigerian Youths and Society

  • EF Akinsola
  • A Ojo
Keywords: Terrorism, social impact, psychological impact, psychological distress, helplessness


Terrorism is a hydra-headed global phenomenon but it has recently become a recurring menace in Nigeria, unleashing trauma, fear and psychological disorientation on individuals and the Nigerian society. Currently the news of any terrorist attack sends shock waves through the spines of Nigerians followed by apathy. The terrorists’ strategies draw the attention of the local populace, the government, and the world to their cause. Such strategies which include acts of violence and wanton destruction of lives and properties, abduction and sexual violence are accompanied by traumatic effects on the victims, the general populace and Nigerian youths in particular. This study assessed the impact of persistent terrorist attacks on the individuals and the society. In doing this a Terrorism conceptualization and impact questionnaire was developed, factor analysed and administered to 531 youths and older adults with age ranging between 15 and 75years. In the sample 307 are youths (15-24yrs) while 224 are older adults (25- 75), with 279 males and 252 females. After the factor analysis of the questionnaire items 20 out of the 34 items in the questionnaire assessed the impact of terrorist attacks on Nigerian youths and adults. The impact factors assessed are social impact, psychological impact divided into psychological distress and helplessness, intervention impact and cognitive impact. Results obtained indicated that older adults experience higher levels of psychological distress and helplessness than the youths. Older adults also demonstrated higher level of intervention initiation than the youths. However there were no significant differences in the cognitive and social impact of terrorism between the youths and the older adults studied. The results were discussed within the existing literature on effect of terrorist activities on people in general and Nigerians in particular. It was concluded that further research is needed in which the items for social, cognitive and intervention impact will be increased to boost the validity of the research results.

Keywords: Terrorism, social impact, psychological impact, psychological distress, helplessness


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eISSN: 1117-1421