Department of Conflict Resolution Studies Theses and Dissertations

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Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Halmost College of Arts and Sciences - Department of Conflict Resolution Studies

First Advisor

Dustin Berna

Second Advisor

Neil Katz

Third Advisor

Mary Hope Schwoebel


Behavioral Sciences, Conflict Analysis, COVID-19, Mental Health, Social Impact, Suicide


Every 40 seconds, a suicide occurs somewhere around the globe, resulting in over 800,000 deaths annually. The COVID-19 pandemic has triggered a cascade of crises extending beyond the health sector and intensifying this alarming global suicidal trend. The current dissertation aims to illuminate the intricate factors contributing to the surge in suicide rates amidst the pandemic. This dissertation delves into the complex and interwoven factors that escalated the rate of suicide during the COVID-19 pandemic. This exploration underscores the urgent necessity for multifaceted prevention strategies and emphasizes the critical role of multi-sectoral conflict management interventions. The pandemic posed a global health crisis and served as an exacerbating force on social and psychological fronts. Financial hardship emerged as a pressing issue, as millions across the globe found themselves either unemployed or underemployed due to widespread lockdowns and economic slowdown. This economic distress, compounded by the unpredictability of the virus, drove many individuals to the brink. Employing an extensive analytic process, this research systematically coded, sorted and examined relevant data, revealing patterns, relationships, and themes tied to the increasing suicide rates. The study illuminates the profound impact of COVID-19-related stressors. The findings yield profound implications for mental health professionals, policymakers, conflict practitioners, and support agencies, spotlighting the necessity for well-rounded strategies to tackle the increased suicide rates. By discerning these pivotal factors, this research aims to inspire future conflict management strategies, ensuring more effective responses to the mental health repercussions of similar crises, thereby safeguarding lives and mental well-being globally.

Available for download on Monday, July 15, 2024