Date of Award

Spring 2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Educational Foundations & Leadership


Higher Education

Committee Director

Chris Glass

Committee Member

Mitchell Williams

Committee Member

Ardian Shajkovci


The purpose of this study is to contribute to efforts on countering violent extremism and radicalization. This research study measured attitudes towards violent extremist groups and the appeal of violent extremist ideologies among Muslim-American undergraduate students in universities and colleges in California. The target sample group for the study was drawn from Muslim-American undergraduate students from a university and community college within the state. The sample constituted 20 participants, comprised of four focus groups with 5 student respondents each. The researcher used the nomination process to identify participants from the target population. As part of the study’s methodology, a counter-narrative video from The International Center for the Studies of Violent Extremism (ICSVE) was given to the study participants and their responses recorded. The study findings show that the participants had little knowledge of terror organizations, appreciated the dangers of radicalization, and saw the necessity of counternarratives in countering radicalization. After watching the counternarrative video, the participants identified its effectiveness in portraying the negativity of the VE group in question. The findings demonstrate use of counternarratives could be effective in combating radicalization and sensitizing young people against VE involvement.


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