Dissertations, Theses and Capstone Projects

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in International Conflict Management (Ph.D. INCM)


International Conflict Management

First Advisor

Dr. Jesse Benjamin

Second Advisor

Dr. Clarence Lo

Third Advisor

Dr. Ulf Zimmermann


Multiple studies have shown that culture, religiosity, and gender influence people’s behavior in managing their conflict; however, there has been little investigation of the impact of the acculturation process on these variables utilized by Arab-Muslim immigrants in the United States. My study follows a sequential explanatory model with a mixed methods approach, and specifically explores the conflict management styles utilized by first and second-generation Arab-Muslim immigrants in the U.S. and how their culture, gender, and religiosity contribute to these processes. Data was collected by conducting 257 online surveys and 24 face-to-face semi-structured interviews, with the sample population stemming from the Arab-Muslim communities in Columbia, Kansas City, and St. Louis, Missouri. Binary logistic regression and Chi-square tests were used to analyze this quantitative data through SPSS.

The resulting analysis showed that first-generation immigrants tended to be more collectivistic, have a higher level of religiosity, and utilize a wider variety of conflict management styles including obliging, compromising, integrating, and avoiding. Second-generation immigrants were more likely to have a lower level of religiosity and were more likely to utilize the dominating conflict management style for managing their interpersonal conflicts. In addition, gender had a significant relationship only with the avoiding conflict management style, while level of religiosity had a significant relationship with the obliging, compromising, integrating, and dominating conflict management styles. Finally, culture had a significant predictive relationship with integrating and avoiding conflict management styles.

In this sequential explanatory model, more weight was given to the quantitative phase; however, the face-to-face semi-structured interviews enhanced the understanding of the overall trends in conflict management style preferences of first and second generation Arab-Muslim immigrants when trying to manage their interpersonal conflicts. While this study establishes predictive relationships between gender, culture, and religiosity with utilization of the various conflict management styles, other studies should be conducted to better understand the implications of these relationships.