The topical problems of modern society, such as social stratification, overcrowding, domestic inequality generate a voltage that triggers the development of radical and aggressive attitudes toward other people. Youth is particularly sensitive to such influences. The article deals with the definition of extremism, provide different approaches to explaining the reasons for extremist behavior, discusses its background on the personal and social levels. We describe the key socio- psychological experiments that simulate a situation that leads to extremist behavior, and the stories of two young people who have become terrorists (based on the results of journalist investigation). We discuss possible ways of preventing the participation of adolescents and youth in extremist organizations, suggest key ideas that oppose the totalitarian thinking and extremist behavior and could form the basis of prevention programs.
Keywords: extremism, youth, extremist orientation, extremist behavior, prevention of extremism