Department of Conflict Resolution Studies Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Conflict Analysis & Resolution


College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences – Department of Conflict Resolution Studies

First Advisor

Ismael Muvingi

Second Advisor

Neil Katz

Third Advisor

Christine A. Beliard


College Student, Conflict, Extended Family, Immigrant, Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis, Nigerian


Within the last twenty years, the number of undergraduate-age Nigerian immigrants to the United States has substantially increased. Most young Nigerian immigrants moved to the United States for better educational opportunities for themselves. The United States is viewed as the land of opportunity for young Nigerian immigrants because of the numerous options available in American universities. However, the reality of life as an immigrant especially for young Nigerian adults is often a challenging experience. Young Nigerian immigrant students face a lot of adversity because they have to deal with issues such as a new school environment, a foreign culture and living arrangements that might entail living with extended family members; challenges they are often not prepared to deal with and which ultimately format the direction of their lives. This Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) study explored the conflict experiences of 5 Nigerian women who lived with extended family while attending college at the undergraduate level 15-20 years ago and the impact this experience had on their identity formation and future aspirations. Guided by IPA, the central research question shaping this study was: How did undergraduate Nigerian immigrants (who came to the United States 15-20 years ago,) make sense of their intra-extended family conflict experience? With the use of in vivo coding, exploratory comments and extensive, cross-analysis of the participants’ responses, six key themes emerged: (1) Welcome Season, (2) Challenging situations, (3) Irrelevance, (4) Therapy & Motivated, (5) Impacts, and (6) Self-Reflection. By conducting this research, the intent is that the findings from this study will create more awareness and initiate dialogue on this topic to educate and inform relevant stakeholders.

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